ES cells (ESCs) are pluripotent and offer a good tool to study early embryonic development. Intestinal cells are derived from the definitive endoderm. In contrast to adult tissue stem cells, embryonic development and differentiation from ES cells have not been as well investigated in the intestine. There are four differentiated cell types of non-proliferative epithelial cells: enterocytes, goblet cells, enteroendocrine cells, and Paneth cells. Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and progenitor cells reside in crypts, proliferate vigorously, and function as the source of differentiated epithelial cells. Here, we describe a protocol, in which differentiated cell types of the intestine are derived from human ESCs. In this protocol, we describe a protocol to differentiate mouse ES cells into Cdx2-expressing intestinal endoderm efficiently by co-culturing with M15, a mouse mesonephric cell line, and treatment with two chemical compounds. The chemical compounds used are BIO and DAPT. BIO is a Gsk3 inhibitor, that activate Wnt signaling pathway, and DAPT is a-secretase inhibitor that inhibit Notch signaling pathway. BIO and DAPT treatment yielded all representative cell lineages, enterocytes, goblet cells, enteroendocrine cells and paneth cells, to be derived from human ESCs. The protocol for human ESCs is principally very similar with that for the mouse ESCs, with some modifications.
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