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​​Dr Michal Shoshkes-Carmel




We use human and mouse intestine as a model to understand the Telocyte in development homeostasis and disease.



Telocytes are large, flat, mesenchymal cells characterized by extremely long cytoplasmic processes, are present in the stroma of almost all organs examined (bone marrow, skin, heart, lung, kidney, intestine, liver, pancreas, brain, reproductive system, bladder, mammary gland, prostate and placenta). Recently, telocytes were demonstrated to constitute the intestinal stem-cell niche by secreting the essential Wnt ligands without which stem-cell renewal is completely ceased.
Intestinal subepithelial telocytes express the surface membrane platelet-derived growth factor receptor a (PDGFRa), while the transcription factor FOXL1 label their nuclei. Telocytes form a continuous comprehensive three dimensional network of contact with the entire intestinal epithelium, from the crypt base to the tip of the villi and compartmentalize transcripts of a wide range of signaling molecules depending upon their position along the crypt-villus axis in correlation to signaling gradients on the epithelium.