CD44 variant isoform 9 emerges in response to injury and contributes to the regeneration of the gastric epithelium

Nina Bertaux-Skeirik, Mark Wunderlich, Emma Teal, Jayati Chakrabarti, Jacek Biesiada, Maxime Mahe, Nambirajan Sundaram, Joel Gabre, Jennifer Hawkins, Gao Jian, Amy C. Engevik, Li Yang, Jiang Wang, James R. Goldenring, Joseph E. Qualls, Mario Medvedovic, Michael A. Helmrath, Tayyab Diwan, James C. Mulloy, Yana Zavros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The CD44 gene encodes several protein isoforms due to alternative splicing and post translational modifications. Given that CD44 variant isoform 9 (CD44v9) is expressed within Spasmolytic Polypeptide/TFF2-Expressing Metaplasia (SPEM) glands during repair, CD44v9 may be play a funcitonal role during the process of regeneration of the gastric epithelium. Here we hypothesize that CD44v9 marks a regenerative cell lineage responsive to infiltrating macrophages during regeneration of the gastric epithelium. Ulcers were induced in CD44-deficient (CD44KO) and C57BL/6 (BL6) mice by a localized application of acetic acid to the serosal surface of the stomach. Gastric organoids expressing CD44v9 were derived from mouse stomachs and transplanted at the ulcer site of CD44KO mice. Ulcers, CD44v9 expression, proliferation and histology were measured 1, 3, 5 and 7-days post-injury. Human-derived gastric organoids were generated from stomach tissue collected from elderly (>55 years) or young (14–20 years) patients. Organoids were transplanted into the stomachs of NOD scid gamma (NSG) mice at the site of injury. Gastric injury was induced in NRG-SGM3 (NRGS) mice harboring human-derived immune cells (hnNRGS) and the immune profile anlayzed by CyTOF. CD44v9 expression emerged within regenerating glands the ulcer margin in response to injury. While ulcers in BL6 mice healed within 7-days post-injury, CD44KO mice exhibited loss of repair and epithelial regeneration. Ulcer healing was promoted in CD44KO mice by transplanted CD55v9-expressing gastric organoids. NSG mice exhibited loss of CD44v9 expression and gastric repair. Transplantation of human-derived gastric organoids from young, but not aged stomachs promoted repair in NSG mouse stomachs in response to injury. Finally, compared to NRGS mice, huNRGS animals exhibited reduced ulcer sizes, an infiltration of human CD162+ macrophages and an emergence of CD44v9 expression in SPEM. Thus, during repair of the gastic epithelium CD44v9 emerges within a regenerative cell lineage that coincides with macrophage inflitration within the injured mucosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-475
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • CD44-deficient mice
  • gastric ulcer
  • organoids
  • repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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