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The stem-cell zone of the small intestinal epithelium. V. Evidence for controls over orientation of boundaries between the stem-cell zone, proliferative zone, and the maturation zone


American Journal of Anatomy 160(1): 105-112
The stem-cell zone of the small intestinal epithelium. V. Evidence for controls over orientation of boundaries between the stem-cell zone, proliferative zone, and the maturation zone
The possibility that coordinate systems related to crypt axis or muscularis mucosae have an influence over the orientation of the boundaries between 3 crypt compartments (the stem-cell, the proliferative and the maturation zones) was studied in the mouse jejunum. Segments of jejunum, from male Swiss albino mice injected with 3H-thymidine 1 h before death, were collected, embedded in Epon and 1 .mu.-thick serial sections were prepared and radioautographed. Similar material was also obtained from an experimental preparation in which the antimesenteric border of a short segment of jejunum was involuted surgically, thus creating a fold similar to the plicae circulares in the human intestine. The crypts lining the sides and top of the folds were greatly tilted, relative to the muscularis mucosae 2 wk after surgery. The angle formed between the crypt axis and the plane of the muscularis mucosae (.THETA.) was measured. This was related to the angle formed between the crypt axis and the 3H-thymidine-labeled leading edge (.beta.) and that between the crypt axis and the upper boundary of the Paneth-cell distribution (.alpha.). The angle .alpha. indicates the orientation of the boundary between the stem-cell and proliferative zones, while .beta. indicates the orientation of the boundary between the proliferative and maturation zones. .beta. apparently remained perpendicular to the crypt axis for all degrees of crypt tilt (.THETA.). In contrast, .alpha. did not remain perpendicular to the crypt axis over all degrees of crypt tilt. When crypts were tilted by more than 30.degree., .alpha. reoriented and was apparently parallel to the plane of the muscularis mucosae. In crypts tilted less than 30.degree., .alpha. remained perpendicular to the crypt axis. There are probably 2 coordinate systems that provide information to the crypt epithelium. The 1st is a coordinate system related to crypt axis that influences the orientation of the boundary between the proliferative and maturation zones and the 2nd is related to muscularis mucosae and influences the orientation of the boundary between the stem-cell and proliferative zones. The latter has a threshold of about 30.degree., which probably represents the range of peristalsis-induced crypt tilt.


Accession: 044756301

PMID: 7211714

DOI: 10.1002/aja.1001600109



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