Paneth Culture Club 4

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Submitted by Alexandra Braun, Benjamin Mead, Xiaolei Yin, Bob Langer, and Jeffrey Karp of the Koch Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital

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"Rare but mighty, Paneth cells are infrequent yet critical cells of your intestinal lining – they secrete a potent cocktail of natural antimicrobial peptides, helping keep the bacteria in your gut in check. Because of their unique environment, Paneth cells have never before been grown outside the body, until now. Here you can see single polarized mouse Paneth cells packed with antimicrobial peptides (lysozyme – red, cryptidin – green) among other intestinal cells (blue – DAPI, cyan – Actin), all grown in vitro.

By seeing that our cultured cells look like the cells in our body, and by confirming function through other means, we are now able to use this platform to search for novel therapies in diseases ranging from bacterial infection to intestinal inflammation, and even diabetes."