A recent article about infection of bat organoids by SARS-CoV-2

The first organoid culture of the intestinal epithelium of horseshoe bat of Rhinolophus sinicus species was created and was used to investigate the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 in bats., published in a recent Nature article written by Zhou, J., Li, C., Liu, X. et al.2. In the article, the authors outlined several challenges in experiments on bats – one of them is about the hurdle in acquiring bats in the wild2.
Zhou, J., Li, C., Liu, X. et al. outlined the method on establishment, maintenance, and differentiation of bat intestinal organoids in this publication2. Experimental procedures starting from bat intestine harvest, isolation of intestinal crypts to expansion and differentiation induction of adult stem cells and organoid photomicrography were reported2.

Illustrated by Zhou, J., Li, C., Liu, X. et al., bat intestinal organoid established in their experiment was receptive to SARS-CoV-2 infection and encourage viral replication2. In the article, the authors suggested that the differentiated bat intestinal organoid might provide a powerful in vitro model for examining microbial infections in bat intestine and uncovered a path to isolate and cultivate other bat viruses2.

In vivo and in vitro Organoid Technology

 When we talk about research tools, it is not uncommon for researchers to talk about in vitro cell culture as it is a tool to model human development and disease1. Monolayer cell cultures have been a traditional in vitro tool for researchers, but there are challenges for this in vitro tool – the absence of tissue architecture and complexity could not exhibit the same biological processes as what in vivo can do1.
Now, the organoid technology has changed the entire conversation. It empowers researchers to rebuild human organs and model diseases in a dish1. Organoid technology offers opportunities to researchers to create three-dimensional environment in vitro1.


10 selected compositions for intestinal organoid culture by Dolly from LAB-A-PORTER


R-Spondin-1 is expressed in certain areas of the developing central nervous system, as well as in the adrenal glands, ovary, testis, thyroid, and trachea. 


Wnt-3a signaling is essential for various morphogenetic events, including embryonic patterning, cell determination, cell proliferation, CNS development, and cytoskeletal formation.


Noggin belongs to a group of diffusible proteins that bind to ligands of the TGF-β family, and regulate their activity by inhibiting their access to signaling receptors. 

Y-27632 2HCl

Y-27632 is a selective inhibitor of Rho-associated coiled-coil forming protein serine/threonine kinase (ROCK) family of protein kinases that selectively competes with ATP for binding to the catalytic site.

A 83-01

A 83-01 is a potent activin receptor-like kinase inhibitor and is reported to inhibit Smad signaling and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by transforming growth factor-beta. 


EGF is a potent growth factor that stimulates the proliferation of various epidermal and epithelial cells. Additionally, EGF has been shown to inhibit gastric secretion, and to be involved in wound healing.

Gastrin I

Gastrin is a peptide hormone that is a major physiological regulator of gastric acid section and a promoter of gastric mucosal growth.


SB 202190 is a selective and potent p38 MAP kinases inhibitor, binding to its ATP pocket. It has negligible inhibiting properties on other MAP kinases such as ERKs and JNKs.


Nicotinamide is an amide of nicotinic acid, a vitamin of the B complex. In cells, it is incorporated into NADP+ and NAD+, coenzymes for a wide variety of enzymatic oxidation-reduction reactions.


N-acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione and can be deacetylated to cysteine. NAC can be used to neutralize the toxic breakdown products of paracetamol inhibits DNA adduct formation.

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  1. Corrò, C., Novellasdemunt, L., Li, V. et al. A brief history of organoids. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 319, C151-C165 (2020). http://doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00120.2020
  2. Zhou, J., Li, C., Liu, X. et al. Infection of bat and human intestinal organoids by SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med 26, 1077–1083 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0912-6
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