Journal Article

Nephron induction

Hannu Sariola

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 17, issue suppl_9, pages 88-90
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Nephron induction

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One of the most remarkable transformations of cells during organogenesis is the epithelial transformation of nephrogenic mesenchyme to secretory nephrons. During recent years, gene targeting and organ culture approaches have been used efficiently to resolve key molecules involved in this multistage process. Nephrons are induced by the tips of the branching ureteric bud that later forms the collecting duct network. The first signal in nephron induction is obviously maintaining the mesenchyme; the second enhances cell proliferation and brings together the set of cells that contribute to one single nephron. This stage is characterized by two types of condensations (first the cap stage and then pre‐tubular condensation). The final step, epithelial transformation, is a cell‐autonomous process. Although the molecular cascade in nephron induction is being resolved in the rat, the same signals seem to work less efficiently in the mouse. In the rat, fibroblast growth factor‐2 maintains the nephrogenic mesenchyme; leukaemia inhibitory factor together with transforming growth factor β‐2 induce its condensation; and autocrine secretion of Wnt‐4 converts it to epithelium.

Keywords: fibroblast growth factor‐2; inductive tissue interaction; leukaemia inhibitory factor; nephron induction; transforming growth factor β‐2

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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