Intestinal cell dysfunctions involved in obesity and associated diabetes could be correlated with impaired intestinal cell development. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying these dysfunctions have been poorly investigated because of the lack of a good model for studying obesity. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lipotoxicity on intestinal cell differentiation in small intestinal organoid platforms, which are used to analyze the regulation of cell differentiation. Mouse intestinal organoids were grown in the presence/absence of high palmitate concentrations (0.5 mM) for 48 h to simulate lipotoxicity. Palmitate treatment altered the expression of markers involved in the differentiation of enterocytes and goblet cells in the early (Hes1) and late (Muc2) phases of their development, respectively, and it modified enterocytes and goblet cell numbers. Furthermore, the expression of enteroendocrine cell progenitors (Ngn3) and I cells (CCK) markers was also impaired, as well as CCK-positive cell numbers and CCK secretion. Our data indicate, for the first time, that lipotoxicity simultaneously influences the differentiation of specific intestinal cell types in the gut: enterocytes, goblet cells and CCK cells. Through this study, we identified novel targets associated with molecular mechanisms affected by lipotoxicity that could be important for obesity and diabetes therapy.
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