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      Modulation of Cell Differentiation in Perfusion Culture

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          An in vitro model was used to investigate the terminal differentiation mechanisms leading from embryonic to adult renal tissue. For these experiments the capsula fibrosa with adherent embryonic tissue was isolated from neonatal rabbit kidneys. These explants were mounted onto special tissue carriers and cultured in medium containing serum for 24 h. During that time collecting duct (CD) cells grew out and formed a monolayered epithelium covering the whole surface of the explant. The carriers were then transferred to perfusion culture containers to obtain an optimal degree of differentiation. A special type of container allowed us to continuously superfuse the epithelia with individual media on the luminal and basal sides. Using this method it became possible to culture embryonic CD epithelia in a fluid gradient for weeks. The epithelia were superfused with standard Iscove’s modified Dulbecco’s medium (IMDM) on the basal side, while IMDM containing additional NaCl was used on the luminal side. In controls IMDM was superfused on both the luminal and basal sides. It was found that the degree of differentiation in the CD epithelia is dependent on the influence of fluid gradient exposure. Perfusion culture under isotonic conditions revealed that less than 5% of cells were immunopositive for principal and intercalated cell features, while epithelia cultured in a luminal-basal gradient showed more than 80% positive cells. Immunoreactivity for characteristic markers started to develop after an unexpectedly long latent period of 3–6 days, then increased continuously during the following 5 days and reached a maximum on day 14. After switching back from the gradient to isotonic culture conditions the immunoreactivity for some markers decreased within 5 days, while other characteristic features remained stable. Thus, differentiation was not only under the control of growth factors but was also regulated by the electrolyte environment.

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          Induction of early stages of kidney tubule differentiation by lithium ions.

          Kidney tubules develop by a mesenchyme-epithelium transition, normally induced by ureteric bud through a mechanism that remains obscure. Murine nephrogenesis in vitro has always required heterologous inducing cells. We have discovered that Li+ can elicit the early stages of epithelial differentiation in isolated nephrogenic mesenchyme. We have made detailed comparisons of the timing of morphoregulatory molecule expression between Li(+)-mediated induction and the traditional in vitro method using induction by spinal cord. Both followed the same program of early morphoregulatory molecule expression, though Li(+)-induced samples failed to progress into the later parts of the nephrogenic process. Mesenchymes induced by Li+ showed more DNA synthesis than controls, though less than those induced by spinal cord. Discovery of a chemical means to activate differentiation in the absence of heterologous tissue offers a new basis for studying molecular mechanisms regulating the early events of nephrogenesis, as well as for investigating transduction of inductive signals that initiate the process.
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            A low-Na+ diet enhances expression of mRNA for epithelial Na+ channel in rat renal inner medulla.

             Y Ando,  S. Muto,  S Ono (1997)
            The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the renal inner medulla expresses mRNA for the rat epithelial Na+ channel (rENaC) and, if so, to define its regulatory properties using a low-Na+ diet model. We detected alpha, beta and gamma subunit mRNA in rat renal inner medulla using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with primers specific for rENaC alpha, beta and gamma subunits. Moreover, we have developed a specific probe for the alpha subunit using RT-PCR with rENaC alpha-subunit-specific primers. The resulting cDNA was verified by sequencing and was then used in Northern blot analysis of distal colon, whole kidney and inner medulla. The probe for the rENaC alpha subunit hybridized not only to distal colon RNA but also to inner medulla RNA derived from rats fed a normal diet. Furthermore, we examined the effect of a low-Na+ diet on alpha, beta and gamma subunit mRNA expression of rENaC using full-length cDNA as a probe. A marked elevation of rENaC alpha subunit mRNA abundance in the inner medulla was observed in response to a high plasma aldosterone concentration induced by dietary Na+ deprivation. On the other hand, neither beta nor gamma subunit mRNA expression was enhanced by a low-Na+ diet. From these results, it is suggested that rENaC is responsible for Na+ transport in the renal inner medulla and that is probably regulated via transcriptional control of the alpha subunit of ENaC.
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              Amylin as a growth factor during fetal and postnatal development of the rat kidney


                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                December 1999
                28 October 1999
                : 7
                : 5-6
                : 394-406
                Department of Anatomy, University of Regensburg, Germany
                20637 Exp Nephrol 1999;7:394–406
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 8, Tables: 2, References: 44, Pages: 13
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