Using 3D Organoid Cultures to Model Intestinal Physiology and Colorectal Cancer.

Short SP, Costacurta PW, Williams CS
Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep. 2017 13 (3): 183-191

PMID: 29276469 · PMCID: PMC5736147 · DOI:10.1007/s11888-017-0363-8

The three-dimensional (3D) structure of the intestine is a key determinant of differentiation and function; thus, preserving this architecture is an important consideration for studies of intestinal homeostasis and disease. Over the past decade, a number of systems for 3D intestinal organoid cultures have been developed and adapted to model a wide variety of biological phenomenon.

Purpose of this review - We discuss the current state of intestinal and colorectal cancer (CRC) 3D modeling, the most common methods for generating organoid cultures, and how these have yielded insights into intestinal physiology and tumor biology.

Recent findings - Organoids have been used to model numerous aspects of intestinal physiology and disease. Recent adaptations have further improved disease modeling and high-throughput therapeutic screening.

Summary - These studies show intestinal organoid models are a robust, highly tractable system which maintains many vital features of intestinal tissue, making them a pivotal step forward in the field of gastroenterology.

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