The organs in our bodies house stem cells that are necessary to regenerate cells when they become damaged, diseased or too old to function. Researchers at Rutgers University have identified a new factor that is essential for maintaining the stem cells in the brain and gut and whose loss may contribute to anxiety and cognitive disorders and to gastrointestinal diseases.

The study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, reveals the importance of the insulin-like  II gene in adult stem cell maintenance in these two organs. The gene provides key support for the existence of two, functionally distinct sets of in the intestine, whose unregulated self-renewal and proliferation may contribute to .

 

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