Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. Nov 15, 2017; 8(4): 150-160
Published online Nov 15, 2017. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v8.i4.150
Paneth cells in intestinal physiology and pathophysiology
Nikolaus Gassler
Nikolaus Gassler, Institute of Pathology, RWTH Aachen University, Braunschweig 38114, Germany
Author contributions: Gassler N contributed to the study idea, literature research, manuscript writing, and final revision.
Conflict-of-interest statement: None.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Nikolaus Gassler, MA, Professor, Institute of Pathology, RWTH Aachen University, Celler Strasse 38, Braunschweig 38114, Germany.
Telephone: +49-531-5953310 Fax: +49-531-5953449
Received: January 24, 2017
Peer-review started: January 26, 2017
First decision: May 2, 2017
Revised: July 28, 2017
Accepted: August 15, 2017
Article in press: August 16, 2017
Published online: November 15, 2017
Core Tip

Core tip: Paneth cells physiologically locate in small intestinal crypts. Wnt signalling promotes their differentiation and movement into crypts, whereas Notch activities antagonise Paneth cell maturation. The cells essentially contribute to crypt morphogenesis and intestinal homeostasis, sharpening the microbiome by secreting antimicrobial peptides, like defensins, and crypt fission. There is increasing molecular evidence that Paneth cells disorders are strongly involved in the pathophysiology of several intestinal diseases including ileal Crohn’s disease and necrotising enterocolitis.