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The role of CSF1R-dependent macrophages in control of the intestinal stem cell niche

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1272
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date28 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2018


Colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) controls the growth and differentiation of macrophages.CSF1R signalling has been implicated in the maintenance of the intestinal stem cell niche and differentiation of Paneth cells, but evidence of expression of CSF1R within the crypt is equivocal. Here we show that CSF1R dependent macrophages influence intestinal epithelial differentiation and homeostasis. In the intestinal lamina propria CSF1R mRNA expression is restricted to macrophages which are intimately associated with the crypt epithelium, and is undetectable in Paneth cells. Macrophage ablation following CSF1R-blockade affects Paneth cell differentiation and leads to a reduction of Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells. The disturbances to the crypt caused by macrophage depletion adversely affect the subsequent differentiation of intestinal epithelial cell lineages. Goblet cell density is enhanced, whereas the development of M cells in Peyer’s patches is impeded. We suggest that modification of the phenotype or abundance of macrophages in the gut wall alters the development of the intestinal epithelium and the ability to sample gut antigens.

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