Mesenchymal Niche-Derived Neuregulin-1 Drives Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation and Regeneration of Damaged Epithelium

Thierry Jardé, Wing Hei Chan, Fernando J. Rossello, Tanvir Kaur Kahlon, Mandy Theocharous, Teni Kurian Arackal, Tracey Flores, Mégane Giraud, Elizabeth Richards, Eva Chan, Genevieve Kerr, Rebekah M. Engel, Mirsada Prasko, Jacqueline F. Donoghue, Shin-ichi Abe, Toby J. Phesse, Christian M. Nefzger, Paul J. McMurrick, David R. Powell, Roger J. DalyJose M. Polo, Helen E. Abud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) maintains intestinal stem cell (ISC) proliferation and is a key component of organoid growth media yet is dispensable for intestinal homeostasis, suggesting roles for multiple EGF family ligands in ISC function. Here, we identified neuregulin 1 (NRG1) as a key EGF family ligand that drives tissue repair following injury. NRG1, but not EGF, is upregulated upon damage and is expressed in mesenchymal stromal cells, macrophages, and Paneth cells. NRG1 deletion reduces proliferation in intestinal crypts and compromises regeneration capacity. NRG1 robustly stimulates proliferation in crypts and induces budding in organoids, in part through elevated and sustained activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and AKT. Consistently, NRG1 treatment induces a proliferative gene signature and promotes organoid formation from progenitor cells and enhances regeneration following injury. These data suggest mesenchymal-derived NRG1 is a potent mediator of tissue regeneration and may inform the development of therapies for enhancing intestinal repair after injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-662
Number of pages17
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • cell proliferation
  • EGF
  • ERBB3
  • intestinal stem cells
  • macrophages
  • neuregulin 1
  • niche
  • PDGFRα+ stromal cells
  • stem cell identity
  • tissue regeneration

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