The intestine is an important digestive organ of the human body. The intestine is composed of different anatomical regions. These regions have different development speeds and also play different roles in digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolism and immune regulation. A correct understanding of the differentiation process of intestinal cells is very important for the research of intestinal diseases. Recently, the research team of the British Sanger Institute released a comprehensive map of human intestinal cells.
Researchers used single-cell RNA sequencing and antigen receptor analysis to analyze nearly 500,000 cells in 5 anatomical regions of human development and 11 anatomical regions of the intestine. Detailed descriptions of the types and numbers of intestinal cells, as well as the changes in different stages, accurately show how intestinal cells begin to differentiate and develop from the early embryo.
The study also discovered key cells that promote the formation of secondary lymphoid tissues during early human development. These cells play an important role in intestinal diseases in infants and can activate immune cells to protect infant intestinal health. The research not only established a complete intestinal cell catalog, but also laid the foundation for further understanding of intestinal development, flora balance and disease occurrence.