Growth factor regulation in the nephrogenic zone of the developing kidney.

Document Type


Publication Date



MMCRI, Molecular Medicine

Journal Title

Results and problems in cell differentiation.

MeSH Headings

Animals, Humans, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Kidney, Nephrons, Organogenesis, Signal Transduction, Stem Cells


New nephrons are induced by the interaction between mesenchymal progenitor cells and collecting duct tips, both of which are located at the outer edge of the kidney. This leading edge of active nephron induction is known as the nephrogenic zone. Cell populations found within this zone include collecting duct tips, cap mesenchyme cells, pretubular aggregates, nephrogenic zone interstitium, hemoendothelial progenitor cells, and macrophages. The close association of these dynamic progenitor cell compartments enables the intricate and synchronized patterning of the epithelial and the vascular components of the nephron. Understanding signaling interactions between the distinct progenitor cells of the nephrogenic zone are essential to determining the basis for new nephron formation, an important goal in regenerative medicine. A variety of technologies have been applied to define essential signaling pathways, including organ culture, mouse genetics, and primary cell culture. This chapter provides an overview of essential signaling pathways and discusses how these may be integrated.



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