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: Complex signaling between blood and stem cells controls regeneration in fly gut

Related Stories

Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2015

May 21, 2015

A cartwheeling spider, a bird-like dinosaur and a fish that wriggles around on the sea floor to create a circular nesting site are among the species identified by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) ...

The benefits of bacteria for gut health

October 18, 2013

Scientists from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, United States have shown that specific gut bacteria are beneficial for maintaining a healthy intestine in the fruit fly Drosophila and mice and also contribute ...

Fruit fly midguts provide human abdomen acumen

July 4, 2013

(Phys.org) —Nicolas Buchon, associate professor of entomology, is giving the fruit fly research community a lot to digest: a detailed molecular and anatomical atlas of the fruit fly digestive tract. The results, published ...

Recommended for you

Quantum matter stuck in unrest

July 31, 2015

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

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.