Fasting Remodels the Gut Epithelium

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curved strands of intestinal cells

Heaji Shin, Omer Yilmaz

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curved strands of intestinal cells

This image depicts how fasting remodels the gut epithelium. During environmental changes such as starvation in which nutrients are limited, cells in our body start to recycle cellular components through a process called autophagy. Autophagy is critical since without this process, cells cannot withstand period of long starvation; It happens in a cellular organelle called lysosomes. Here I show that lysosomes (purple speckles) are upregulated (saturated purple pixels are illustrated in white) during short term fasting in the mouse small intestine. In this picture, you see two small intestinal crypts that are next to each other (cyan circles representing each cell in the crypt, which is a basic unit that composes the intestine), overlayed with purple or white puncta marking the presence of lysosomes in large quantity during the fasted state.