Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


The mechanics of crypt morphogenesis

Intestinal organoids have been used to model development of the crypt–villus axis and uncover signalling pathways that govern the stem-cell niche and induce differentiation. Two studies now take advantage of intestinal organoids to measure the mechanical forces that drive morphogenesis of the crypt and fate specification of its resident cells.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Anatomy of intestinal epithelium in vivo and in organoids.


  1. Beumer, J. & Clevers, H. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 22, 39–53 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Sato, T. et al. Nature 459, 262–265 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Kretzschmar, K. & Clevers, H. Dev. Cell 38, 590–600 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Perez-Gonzalez, C. et al. Nat. Cell Biol. (2021).

  5. Yang, Q. et al. Nat. Cell Biol. (2021).

  6. Coulombre, A. J. & Coulombre, J. L. J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 6, 403–411 (1958).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Nelson, C. M. Dev. Cell 26, 554–556 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Shyer, A. E. et al. Science 342, 212–218 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Rao-Bhatia, A. et al. Dev. Cell 52, 647–658.e6 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Walton, K. D. et al. Development 143, 427–436 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Sumigray, K. D., Terwilliger, M. & Lechler, T. Dev. Cell 45, 183–197.e5 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Gjorevski, N. et al. Nature 539, 560–564 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Fawkner-Corbett, D. et al. Cell 184, 810–826.e23 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Celeste M. Nelson.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nelson, C.M. The mechanics of crypt morphogenesis. Nat Cell Biol 23, 678–679 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing