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      Characterization of Micro-Fibers at the Interface between the Renal Collecting Duct Ampulla and the Cap Condensate

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          The development of renal histo-architecture substantially depends on the three-dimensional extension of the collecting duct (CD) ampulla, since under its influence, nephron induction takes place in the surrounding mesenchyme. Recently, micro-fibers were detected by soybean agglutinin (SBA), which line from the basal aspect of each CD ampulla through the mesenchyme towards the organ capsule in embryonic kidney. Their unique distribution suggests that they may play an important role in the control of CD ampulla growth and in forming the renal stem cell niche. A profound analysis of interstitial proteins between the CD ampulla and the nephrogenic mesenchyme is lacking. Consequently, the goal of the current investigation was to colocalize the micro-fibers detected by SBA with interstitial proteins. For this reason a detailed cell biological analysis of extracellular molecules at this site was carried out. Double labeling showed that the micro-fibers do not correspond to known collagens and other extracellular matrix molecules such as agrin, versican or MMP-9. In addition, it could be demonstrated that the micro-fibers do not contain epithelial or mesenchymal cell elements. Furthermore, two-dimensional electrophoresis with subsequent Western blotting yielded two different amino acid sequences (1: GHYADPTSPR; 2: NNGCCSSDYHA) obtained from SBA-labeled protein spots. Both amino acid sequences could not be assigned to known rodent proteins. The findings suggest that the SBA-labeled micro-fibers represent a new type of extracellular structure between the CD ampulla, the mesenchyme and the organ capsule.

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          Most cited references 7

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          WT-1 is required for early kidney development.

          In humans, germline mutations of the WT-1 tumor suppressor gene are associated with both Wilms' tumors and urogenital malformations. To develop a model system for the molecular analysis of urogenital development, we introduced a mutation into the murine WT-1 tumor suppressor gene by gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. The mutation resulted in embryonic lethality in homozygotes, and examination of mutant embryos revealed a failure of kidney and gonad development. Specifically, at day 11 of gestation, the cells of the metanephric blastema underwent apoptosis, the ureteric bud failed to grow out from the Wolffian duct, and the inductive events that lead to formation of the metanephric kidney did not occur. In addition, the mutation caused abnormal development of the mesothelium, heart, and lungs. Our results establish a crucial role for WT-1 in early urogenital development.
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            Stem cells in the kidney.

            The kidney is derived from the ureteric bud and the metanephrogenic mesenchyme, and these two progenitor cells differentiate into more than 26 different cell types in the adult kidney. The ureteric bud contains the precursor of the epithelial cells of the collecting duct and the renal mesenchyme contains precursors of all the epithelia of the rest of the nephron, endothelial cell precursors and stroma cells, but the relatedness among these cells is unclear. A single metanephric mesenchymal cell can generate all the epithelial cells of the nephron (except the collecting duct), indicating that the kidney contains epithelial stem cells. It is currently unknown whether these stem cells also are present in the adult kidney but experience in other organs makes this likely. It also is unclear whether embryonic renal epithelial stem cells can generate other cell types, but preliminary studies in our laboratory suggest that they can differentiate into myofibroblasts, smooth muscle, and perhaps endothelial cells, indicating that they are pluripotent renal stem cells. The important problem to be solved now is the identification and location of adult renal stem cells. This article discusses work done in other organs and in renal development that we believe may be useful for the resolution of this problem.
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                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                October 2003
                17 November 2004
                : 95
                : 2
                : e43-e54
                Department of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
                73671 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2003;95:e43–e54
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 6, References: 27, Pages: 1
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