Cellular inheritance of a Cre-activated reporter gene to determine paneth cell longevity in the murine small intestine

Authors

  • Heather Ireland,

    1. Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Carol Houghton,

    1. Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Louise Howard,

    1. Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Douglas J. Winton

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Cancer Research UK Department of Oncology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Lab. 6.15, Wellcome Trust/MRC Building, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2XY, UK
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Abstract

Here, we exploit an absolute differential between stem and progeny cells in their ability to express Cre from a somatically inducible transgene to determine the longevity of intestinal Paneth cells. In the Ahcre transgenic line induction of Cre recombinase allows constitutive activation of a Cre-activated reporter in intestinal precursors but not in Paneth cells. The time taken for Paneth cells to inherit the reporter (EYFP) was measured in adult Ahcre/R26R-EYFP animals. Using confocal microscopy of TOPRO-3–stained sections, both precursors and Paneth cells were identified and subsequently scored for EYFP expression. It takes up to 57 days for Paneth cells to inherit the reporter, making them three times longer-lived than previously indicated using nucleotide incorporation and suggesting that such determinations of cell turnover may be significant underestimates. Developmental Dynamics 233:1332–1336, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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