Intrinsic Xenobiotic Resistance of the Intestinal Stem Cell Niche

Yuemin Celina Chee, Jens Pahnke, Ralph Bunte, Vikrant A. Adsool, Babita Madan*, David M. Virshup

*Corresponding author for this work
7 Citations (Scopus)


The gut absorbs dietary nutrients and provides a barrier to xenobiotics and microbiome metabolites. To cope with toxin exposures, the intestinal epithelium is one of the most rapidly proliferating tissues in the body. The stem cell niche supplies essential signaling factors including Wnt proteins secreted by subepithelial myofibroblasts. Unexpectedly, therapeutically effective doses of orally administered PORCN inhibitors that block all Wnt secretion do not affect intestinal homeostasis. We find that intestinal myofibroblasts are intrinsically resistant to multiple xenobiotics, including PORCN inhibitors and the anthracycline antibiotic doxorubicin. These myofibroblasts have high expression of a subset of drug transporters; knockout of Mrp1/Abcc1 enhances drug sensitivity. Tamoxifen administration to Rosa26CreERT2;mT/mG mice visually highlights the drug-resistant intestinal stromal compartment and identifies small populations of drug-resistant cells in lung, kidney, and pancreatic islets. Xenobiotic resistance of the Wnt-producing myofibroblasts can protect the intestinal stem cell niche in the face of an unpredictable environment. Stromal cells of the gut produce Wnts and other essential stem cell growth factors. Chee et al. find that these stromal cells are resistant to multiple xenobiotics due to drug pump expression. This protects the stem cell niche from an environment rife with ingested toxins and microbial metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)681-695.e5
Publication statusPublished - 24.09.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


Dive into the research topics of 'Intrinsic Xenobiotic Resistance of the Intestinal Stem Cell Niche'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this