Cellular Recruitment by Podocyte-Derived Pro-migratory Factors in Assembly of the Human Renal Filter.

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National Institutes of Health

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Department of Physics and Computer Science - Dual Degree Engineering

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Analysis of kidney disease-causing genes and pathology resulting from systemic diseases highlight the importance of the kidney's filtering system, the renal corpuscles. To elucidate the developmental processes that establish the renal corpuscle, we performed single-nucleus droplet-based sequencing of the human fetal kidney. This enabled the identification of nephron, interstitial, and vascular cell types that together generate the renal corpuscles. Trajectory analysis identified transient developmental gene expression, predicting precursors or mature podocytes express FBLN2, BMP4, or NTN4, in conjunction with recruitment, differentiation, and modeling of vascular and mesangial cell types into a functional filter. In vitro studies provide evidence that these factors exhibit angiogenic or mesangial recruiting and inductive properties consistent with a key organizing role for podocyte precursors in kidney development. Together these studies define a spatiotemporal developmental program for the primary filtration unit of the human kidney and provide novel insights into cell interactions regulating co-assembly of constituent cell types.


DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.09.029