Former Jasper Cooperation Group (until 2018)

Aging of Intestinal Stem Cells

The Group of Henri Jasper was a cooperation group between the Buck Institute in Novato, CA, U.S.A. and the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena.

Stem cells are an essential part of many adult tissues and make sure that cells are continually replaced in our skin, lungs, intestine and many other tissues. The functional decline of stem cells throughout life is one of the major causes of age-related disease. Jasper group was interested in how stress, metabolism and other processes affect stem cell function during life.

They used the intestine of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) as a model system for stem cell biology, taking advantage of the wide array of genetic, molecular and genomic techniques and resources for this model organism. More recently, they have been extending our findings in mammalian stem cell systems such as mouse intestinal organoids and the mouse airway system, which is regulated in a highly similar way to the Drosophila intestine, both on the functional and regulatory level.

Similarites between fly (middle) and mammalian (left, right) adult stem cell lineages. Both the mammalian and fly intestine are maintained by a population of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) that function to replace lost differentiated cells. The mouse airway (trachea, right) is maintained by a population of stem cells called Basal Cells (BCs). Similar to the fly intestine, differentiation is determined by levels of Delta-Notch signaling (adapted from Biteau, Hochmuth and Jasper, Cell Stem Cell 2011).
Jasper: Fly and mammalian stem cell lineages

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Prof. Dr. Heinrich Jasper

Heinrich Jasper

Photo: Buck Institute for Research on Aging