Study: Stem cells found in fruit fly gut

December 8, 2005

Baltimore scientists say they have identified stem cells in the mid gut of Drosophila fruit flies.

Allan Spradling and Benjamin Ohlstein of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore used lineage labeling to demonstrate the existence of such cells in the insect's digestive system.

Writing in a paper published online by the journal Nature this week, they said unlike other stem cells, those from the fly intestine do not attach to a partner stromal cell.

Vertebrate and invertebrate digestive systems show extensive developmental similarities.

The researchers suggest studying the stem cells in the gut system of fruit flies might help provide clues about what goes wrong in humans who suffer from some common digestive diseases and cancer.

In a second paper, Craig Micchelli and Norbert Perrimon of the Harvard Medical School also identify stem cells in the mid gut of Drosophila and agree with Spradling and Ohlstein the cells are regulated by Notch signaling.

The teams believe the ability to identify, manipulate and genetically trace cell lineages in the mid gut should lead to the discovery of additional genes that regulate stem and progenitor cell biology in the gastrointestinal tract.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch

Related Stories

Scientists develop method for discovering rare cells

August 21, 2015

Scientists of the Hubrecht Institute Utrecht developed a new method for identifying rare cell types by single-cell mRNA sequencing. The newly developed algorithm, called RaceID, is very useful for identifying rare cell types ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.