Proteomics analysis of human intestinal organoids during hypoxia and reoxygenation as a model to study ischemia-reperfusion injury

A.M. Kip, Z. Soons, R. Mohren, A.A.M. Duivenvoorden, A.A.J. Roth, B. Cillero-Pastor, U.P. Neumann, C.H.C. Dejong, R.M.A. Heeren, S.W.M.O. Damink, K. Lenaerts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury is associated with high mortality rates, which have not improved in the past decades despite advanced insight in its pathophysiology using in vivo animal and human models. The inability to translate previous findings to effective therapies emphasizes the need for a physiologically relevant in vitro model to thoroughly investigate mechanisms of IR-induced epithelial injury and test potential therapies. In this study, we demonstrate the use of human small intestinal organoids to model IR injury by exposing organoids to hypoxia and reoxygenation (HR). A mass-spectrometry-based proteomics approach was applied to characterize organoid differentiation and decipher protein dynamics and molecular mechanisms of IR injury in crypt-like and villus-like human intestinal organoids. We showed successful separation of organoids exhibiting a crypt-like proliferative phenotype, and organoids exhibiting a villus-like phenotype, enriched for enterocytes and goblet cells. Functional enrichment analysis of significantly changing proteins during HR revealed that processes related to mitochondrial metabolism and organization, other metabolic processes, and the immune response were altered in both organoid phenotypes. Changes in protein metabolism, as well as mitophagy pathway and protection against oxidative stress were more pronounced in crypt-like organoids, whereas cellular stress and cell death associated protein changes were more pronounced in villus-like organoids. Profile analysis highlighted several interesting proteins showing a consistent temporal profile during HR in organoids from different origin, such as NDRG1, SDF4 or DMBT1. This study demonstrates that the HR response in human intestinal organoids recapitulates properties of the in vivo IR response. Our findings provide a framework for further investigations to elucidate underlying mechanisms of IR injury in crypt and/or villus separately, and a model to test therapeutics to prevent IR injury.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Number of pages13
JournalCell Death & Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


  • culture
  • defense
  • dissolved-oxygen concentration
  • enteroids
  • human colon
  • life
  • mechanisms
  • physiology
  • proliferation
  • stem-cells
  • LIFE


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