Breast milk enhances growth of enteroids: An ex vivo model of cell proliferation

Wyatt E. Lanik, Lily Xu, Cliff J. Luke, Elise Z. Hu, Pranjal Agrawal, Victoria S. Liu, Rajesh Kumar, Alexa M. Bolock, Congrong Ma, Misty Good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Human small intestinal enteroids are derived from the crypts and when grown in a stem cell niche contain all of the epithelial cell types. The ability to establish human enteroid ex vivo culture systems are important to model intestinal pathophysiology and to study the particular cellular responses involved. In recent years, enteroids from mice and humans are being cultured, passaged, and banked away for future use in several laboratories across the world. This enteroid platform can be used to test the effects of various treatments and drugs and what effects are exerted on different cell types in the intestine. Here, a protocol for establishing primary stem cell-derived small intestinal enteroids derived from neonatal mice and premature human intestine is provided. Moreover, this enteroid culture system was utilized to test the effects of species-specific breast milk. Mouse breast milk can be obtained efficiently using a modified human breast pump and expressed mouse milk can then be used for further research experiments. We now demonstrate the effects of expressed mouse, human, and donor breast milk on the growth and proliferation of enteroids derived from neonatal mice or premature human small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56921
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number132
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018


  • Breast milk
  • Enteroids
  • Intestinal stem cells
  • Milking
  • Mini-guts
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Organoids


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