The endoderm is the innermost layer of cells in very early vertebrate and insect embryos. It is one of the three primary germ cell layers and gives rise to epithelial tissue lining some organs, including the digestive, urinary and respiratory tracts.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Anderson et al. show that LIF, ActA and Wnt support self-renewal in both pluripotent and endodermal cells. Upon removal of insulin, they induce differentiation of naive PSCs into extra-embryonic primitive endoderm and primed PSCs into definitive endoderm.

    • Kathryn G. V. Anderson
    • , William B. Hamilton
    • , Fabian V. Roske
    • , Ajuna Azad
    • , Teresa E. Knudsen
    • , Maurice A. Canham
    • , Lesley M. Forrester
    •  & Joshua M. Brickman
    Nature Cell Biology 19, 1164-1177
  • Research |

    Wnt signalling is shown to be required for specification of the gastric fundus in mice, and was used to develop human gastric organoids with functional fundic cell types.

    • Kyle W. McCracken
    • , Eitaro Aihara
    • , Baptiste Martin
    • , Calyn M. Crawford
    • , Taylor Broda
    • , Julie Treguier
    • , Xinghao Zhang
    • , John M. Shannon
    • , Marshall H. Montrose
    •  & James M. Wells
    Nature 541, 182-187
  • Research |

    Forbes and colleagues report on a population of hepatic progenitor cells that regenerate the adult liver in a mouse model where more than 98% of all hepatocytes are irreversibly damaged.

    • Wei-Yu Lu
    • , Thomas G. Bird
    • , Luke Boulter
    • , Atsunori Tsuchiya
    • , Alicia M. Cole
    • , Trevor Hay
    • , Rachel V. Guest
    • , Davina Wojtacha
    • , Tak Yung Man
    • , Alison Mackinnon
    • , Rachel A. Ridgway
    • , Timothy Kendall
    • , Michael J. Williams
    • , Thomas Jamieson
    • , Alex Raven
    • , David C. Hay
    • , John P. Iredale
    • , Alan R. Clarke
    • , Owen J. Sansom
    •  & Stuart J. Forbes
    Nature Cell Biology 17, 971-983
  • Research |

    Noguchi and colleagues report the generation of stomach-like tissue from mouse embryonic stem cells. They show that the tissue contains all stomach-specific cell types and secretes acid and digestive enzyme.

    • Taka-aki K. Noguchi
    • , Naoto Ninomiya
    • , Mari Sekine
    • , Shinji Komazaki
    • , Pi-Chao Wang
    • , Makoto Asashima
    •  & Akira Kurisaki
    Nature Cell Biology 17, 984-993

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Work from the early 1980s reported strange lobes protruding from Caenorhabditis elegans germ cell precursors. However, the fate and potential significance of these lobes remained unexplored for decades. Now, neighbouring endodermal cells are shown to sever and digest these lobes, in an unexpected process of 'intercellular cannibalism', which could play an important part in regulating primordial germ cells.

    • Jennifer K. Heppert
    •  & Bob Goldstein
    Nature Cell Biology 18, 1267-1268
  • News and Views |

    Modelling organs in culture has great potential to improve our understanding of development, organogenesis and disease. While some endodermal derived organs have been modelled, the corpus region of the stomach, where acid-producing cells reside, remained an invincible target. A 60-day differentiation protocol now enables the generation of functional acid-producing cells in culture, conquering the challenge.

    • Meritxell Huch
    Nature Cell Biology 17, 966-967
  • News and Views |

    The endoderm layer destined to be primitive gut is a mosaic of earlier visceral endoderm and definitive endoderm that arises later, during gastrulation. Live imaging now reveals that in mouse embryos, definitive endoderm cells egress from underlying mesoderm and intercalate into the overlying cell layer. This process requires SOX17-mediated control of basement membrane organization.

    • Angela C. H. McDonald
    •  & Janet Rossant
    Nature Cell Biology 16, 1128-1129
  • News and Views |

    Generation of differentiated kidney cell types from pluripotent stem cells would be enormously useful for research and therapeutic purposes, but progress towards this goal has so far been limited. In three recent reports, mature kidney cell types and three-dimensional nephron-like structures were generated from pluripotent cells rapidly and efficiently. A detailed understanding of the signals that drive nephrogenesis proved critical for these achievements.

    • Benjamin D. Humphreys