Primary intestinal crypt cultures

Immortalized cell lines have the great advantage to be well-established and widely used in experimental research. Nevertheless, such cell-lines are a simplified and rather artificial model system with some limitations, particularly regarding systemic effects and the interplay of different cell types present in a complex organ like the gut. The epithelial layer of the intestine consists of epithelial cells responsible for nutrient absorption, different enteroendocrine cells secreting gut hormones, goblet cells producing mucus and other specialized cell types.

Since it is possible that the complex process of nutrient-induced gut hormone secretion involves the communication of epithelial and enteroendocrine cells, our group is working with primary intestinal cells derived from murine intestinal crypts. The isolated crypts are containing mainly stem cells able to differentiate to specialized cells like GLP-1-secreting L-cells.

The primary epithelial cell layer developing from the isolated crypts is used for transporter studies, cell signaling experiments via live cell imaging and ELISA-based gut hormone secretion assays.

last updated: 26.03.2013, Tamara Zietek