Activated Notch Signaling Cascade is Correlated with Stem Cell Differentiation Toward Absorptive Progenitors after Massive Small Bowel Resection in a Rat.


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Notch signaling is thought to act to drive cell versification in the lining of the small intestine. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the role of the Notch signaling pathway in stem cell differentiation in the late stages of intestinal adaptation after massive small bowel resection in a rat. Male SpragueDawley rats were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups of eight rats each: Sham rats underwent bowel transection and reanastomosis, while SBS rats underwent 75% small bowel resection. Rats were euthanized on day 14. Illumina's Digital Gene Expression (DGE) analysis was used to determine Notch signaling gene expression profiling. Notch-related gene and protein expression was determined using real-time PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry. From seven investigated Notch-related (by DGE analysis) genes, six genes were upregulated in SBS vs. control animals with a relative change in gene expression level of 20% or more. A significant upregulation of Notch signaling-related genes in resected animals was accompanied by a significant increase in Notch-1 protein levels (Western blot analysis) and a significant increase in the number of Notch1 and Hes1 (target gene)-positive cells (immunohistochemistry) compared with sham animals. Evaluation of cell differentiation has shown a strong increase in total number of absorptive cells (unchanged secretory cells) compared with control rats. In conclusion, 2 wk after bowel resection in rats, stimulated Notch signaling directs the crypt cell population toward absorptive progenitors. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study provides novel insight into the mechanisms of cell proliferation following massive small bowel resection. We show that 2 wk after bowel resection in rats, enhanced stem cell activity was associated with stimulated Notch signaling pathway. We demonstrate that activated Notch signaling cascade directs the crypt cell population toward absorptive progenitors.
stem cell,short bowel syndrome,Notch,cell differentiation,intestine
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