Roles of Enteric Neural Stem Cell Niche and Enteric Nervous System Development in Hirschsprung Disease.
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Cited by: 1


The development of the enteric nervous system (ENS) is highly modulated by the synchronized interaction between the enteric neural crest cells (ENCCs) and the neural stem cell niche comprising the gut microenvironment. Genetic defects dysregulating the cellular behaviour(s) of the ENCCs result in incomplete innervation and hence ENS dysfunction. Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is a rare complex neurocristopathy in which the enteric neural crest-derived cells fail to colonize the distal colon. In addition to ENS defects, increasing evidence suggests that HSCR patients may have intrinsic defects in the niche impairing the extracellular matrix (ECM)-cell interaction and/or dysregulating the cellular niche factors necessary for controlling stem cell behaviour. The niche defects in patients may compromise the regenerative capacity of the stem cell-based therapy and advocate for drug- and niche-based therapies as complementary therapeutic strategies to alleviate/enhance niche-cell interaction. Here, we provide a summary of the current understandings of the role of the enteric neural stem cell niche in modulating the development of the ENS and in the pathogenesis of HSCR. Deciphering the contribution of the niche to HSCR may provide important implications to the development of regenerative medicine for HSCR.


Spatial Transcriptomics
Hirschsprung disease
enteric nervous system
enteric neural crest cells
extra-cellular matrix
neural stem cell niche
regenerative medicine

MeSH terms

Cell Differentiation
Disease Management
Disease Susceptibility
Enteric Nervous System
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Hirschsprung Disease
Neural Crest
Neural Stem Cells
Receptor, Endothelin B
Regenerative Medicine
Signal Transduction
Stem Cell Niche


Ji, Yue
Tam, Paul Kwong-Hang
Tang, Clara Sze-Man

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