A Wnt7b-dependent pathway regulates the orientation of epithelial cell division and establishes the cortico-medullary axis of the mammalian kidney.
ABSTRACT The mammalian kidney is organized into a cortex where primary filtration occurs, and a medullary region composed of elongated tubular epithelia where urine is concentrated. We show that the cortico-medullary axis of kidney organization and function is regulated by Wnt7b signaling. The future collecting duct network specifically expresses Wnt7b. In the absence of Wnt7b, cortical epithelial development is normal but the medullary zone fails to form and urine fails to be concentrated normally. The analysis of cell division planes in the collecting duct epithelium of the emerging medullary zone indicates a bias along the longitudinal axis of the epithelium. By contrast, in Wnt7b mutants, cell division planes in this population are biased along the radial axis, suggesting that Wnt7b-mediated regulation of the cell cleavage plane contributes to the establishment of a cortico-medullary axis. The removal of beta-catenin from the underlying Wnt-responsive interstitium phenocopies the medullary deficiency of Wnt7b mutants, suggesting a paracrine role for Wnt7b action through the canonical Wnt pathway. Wnt7b signaling is also essential for the coordinated growth of the loop of Henle, a medullary extension of the nephron that elongates in parallel to the collecting duct epithelium. These findings demonstrate that Wnt7b is a key regulator of the tissue architecture that establishes a functional physiologically active mammalian kidney.
- SourceAvailable from: Nils Olof Lindstrom[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This report presents a novel mechanism for remodelling a branched epithelial tree. The mouse renal collecting duct develops by growth and repeated branching of an initially unbranched ureteric bud: this mechanism initially produces an almost fractal form with young branches connected to the centre of the kidney via a sequence of nodes (branch points) distributed widely throughout the developing organ. The collecting ducts of a mature kidney have a different form: from the nephrons in the renal cortex, long, straight lengths of collecting duct run almost parallel to one another through the renal medulla, and open together to the renal pelvis. Here we present time-lapse studies of E11.5 kidneys growing in culture: after about 5 days, the collecting duct trees show evidence of ‘node retraction’, in which the node of a ‘Y’-shaped branch moves downwards, shortening the stalk of the ‘Y’, lengthening its arms and narrowing their divergence angle so that the ‘Y’ becomes a ‘V’. Computer simulation suggests that node retraction can transform a spread tree, like that of an early kidney, into one with long, almost-parallel medullary rays similar to those seen in a mature real kidney.Journal of Anatomy 10/2014; DOI:10.1111/joa.12239 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multipotent stem cells and their lineage-restricted progeny drive nephron formation within the developing kidney. Here, we document expression of the adult stem cell marker Lgr5 in the developing kidney and assess the stem/progenitor identity of Lgr5(+ve) cells via in vivo lineage tracing. The appearance and localization of Lgr5(+ve) cells coincided with that of the S-shaped body around embryonic day 14. Lgr5 expression remained restricted to cell clusters within developing nephrons in the cortex until postnatal day 7, when expression was permanently silenced. In vivo lineage tracing identified Lgr5 as a marker of a stem/progenitor population within nascent nephrons dedicated to generating the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop and distal convoluted tubule. The Lgr5 surface marker and experimental models described here will be invaluable for deciphering the contribution of early nephron stem cells to developmental defects and for isolating human nephron progenitors as a prerequisite to evaluating their therapeutic potential.Cell Reports 09/2012; 2(2(3)-2012 Sep 27;2(3):540-52.):540-52. DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2012.08.018 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Genes encoding Wnt ligands are crucial in body patterning and are highly conserved among metazoans. Given their conservation at the protein-coding level, it is likely that changes in where and when these genes are active are important in generating evolutionary variations. However, we lack detailed knowledge about how their deployment has diverged. Here, we focus on four Wnt subfamilies (Wnt2, Wnt5, Wnt7, and Wnt8) in mammalian and avian species, consisting of a paralogous gene pair in each, believed to have duplicated in the last common ancestor of vertebrates. We use three-dimensional imaging to capture expression patterns in detail and carry out systematic comparisons. We find evidence of greater divergence between these subgroup paralogues than the respective orthologues, consistent with some level of subfunctionalization/neofunctionalization in the common vertebrate ancestor that has been conserved. However, there were exceptions; in the case of chick Wnt2b, individual sites were shared with both mouse Wnt2 and Wnt2b. We also find greater divergence, between paralogues and orthologues, in some subfamilies (Wnt2 and Wnt8) compared to others (Wnt5 and Wnt7) with the more highly similar expression patterns showing more extensive expression in more structures in the embryo. Wnt8 genes were most restricted and most divergent. Major sites of expression for all subfamilies include CNS, limbs, and facial region, and in general there were more similarities in gene deployment in these territories with divergent patterns featuring more in organs such as heart and gut. A detailed comparison of gene expression patterns in the limb showed similarities in overall combined domains across species with notable differences that may relate to lineage-specific morphogenesis.Evolution & Development 03/2012; 14(2):178-95. DOI:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2012.00534.x · 2.68 Impact Factor