Pekka Katajisto's Group

Tissue stem cells and aging

Close up image
Isolated intestinal crypts and villi. The intestinal stem cells are visible in green. The intestinal stem cells and their niche are one of the models used in our lab. Photo: Pekka Katajisto's Lab

Our body is constantly renewed by tissue specific stem cells, which produce cells undertaking specialized functions and new stem cells maintaining the future renewal capacity. In a young body, such stem cells can easily counter the wear and tear of everyday life by replacing damaged cells with new ones. However, as we age, capacity of stem cells declines, and the resulting drop in tissue repair manifests as the functional decline associated with aging. Our goal is to understand why stem cell activity deteriorates with age, and to develop stem cell based strategies targeting aging related diseases and ailments.

Microscopic images of a mouse model.
A mouse model that allow temporal labelling of organelles in the the skin (top left) is used to study asymmetric cell divisions of intrinsic factors. Isolated intestinal stem cells and their niche form organoids in vitro (top right), providing a functional assay for niche interactions. Decellularized extracellular matrix can be co-cultured with isolated cells to analyze cell-type specific ECM interactions (bottom left). Organoids can also be cultured in artificial scaffolds (bottom left). This allow us to test different biomaterials or different niche architectures effect stemness. Photo: N/A

Projects

  1. ASYMMETRIC SEGREGATION OF ORGANELLES DURING STEM CELL DIVISION
  2. CELLULAR METABOLISM AND CELL FATE
  3. IMPACT OF THE STEM CELL NICHE ON AGING

Fundings

  • VR

  • Cancerfonden

  • Karolinska Institute Consolidator Grant

  • ERC

6 people standing on the lawn for a group picture
Pekka Katajisto's group Photo: Linda Lindell

Group Members

Pekka Katajisto – PI

Agustín Sola Carvajal – Research specialist

Rodrigo Lozano – Postdoc

Sandra Scharaw – Postdoc

Anna Webb – PhD Student

Daniel Borshagovski – PhD Student

Selected Publications

Notum produced by Paneth cells attenuates regeneration of aged intestinal epithelium.
Pentinmikko N, Iqbal S, Mana M, Andersson S, Cognetta AB, Suciu RM, et al
Nature 2019 07;571(7765):398-402

A Wnt-producing niche drives proliferative potential and progression in lung adenocarcinoma.
Tammela T, Sanchez-Rivera FJ, Cetinbas NM, Wu K, Joshi NS, Helenius K, et al
Nature 2017 05;545(7654):355-359

Stem cells. Asymmetric apportioning of aged mitochondria between daughter cells is required for stemness.
Katajisto P, Döhla J, Chaffer CL, Pentinmikko N, Marjanovic N, Iqbal S, et al
Science 2015 Apr;348(6232):340-3

mTORC1 in the Paneth cell niche couples intestinal stem-cell function to calorie intake.
Yilmaz ÖH, Katajisto P, Lamming DW, Gültekin Y, Bauer-Rowe KE, Sengupta S, et al
Nature 2012 Jun;486(7404):490-5

Rapamycin-induced insulin resistance is mediated by mTORC2 loss and uncoupled from longevity.
Lamming DW, Ye L, Katajisto P, Goncalves MD, Saitoh M, Stevens DM, et al
Science 2012 Mar;335(6076):1638-43