The contribution of Notch1 to nephron segmentation in the developing kidney is revealed in a sensitized Notch2 background and can be augmented by reducing Mint dosage
ABSTRACT We previously determined that Notch2, and not Notch1, was required for forming proximal nephron segments. The dominance of Notch2 may be conserved in humans, since Notch2 mutations occur in Alagille syndrome (ALGS) 2 patients, which includes renal complications. To test whether mutations in Notch1 could increase the severity of renal complications in ALGS, we inactivated conditional Notch1 and Notch2 alleles in mice using a Six2-GFP::Cre. This BAC transgene is expressed mosaically in renal epithelial progenitors but uniformly in cells exiting the progenitor pool to undergo mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. Although delaying Notch2 inactivation had a marginal effect on nephron numbers, it created a sensitized background in which the inactivation of Notch1 severely compromised nephron formation, function, and survival. These and additional observations indicate that Notch1 in concert with Notch2 contributes to the morphogenesis of renal vesicles into S-shaped bodies in a RBP-J-dependent manner. A significant implication is that elevating Notch1 activity could improve renal functions in ALGS2 patients. As proof of principle, we determined that conditional inactivation of Mint, an inhibitor of Notch-RBP-J interaction, resulted in a moderate rescue of Notch2 null kidneys, implying that temporal blockage of Notch signaling inhibitors downstream of receptor activation may have therapeutic benefits for ALGS patients.
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ABSTRACT: The existence and identification of adult renal stem cells is a controversial issue. In this study, renal stem cells were identified from cultures of clonal human nephrospheres. The cultured nephrospheres exhibited the activation of stem cell pathways and contained cells at different levels of maturation. In each nephrosphere the presence of 1.12-1.25 cells mirroring stem cell properties was calculated. The nephrosphere cells were able to generate three-dimensional tubular structures in 3D cultures and in vivo. In clonal human nephrospheres a PKH(high) phenotype was isolated using PKH26 epifluorescence, which can identify quiescent cells within the nephrospheres. The PKH(high) cells, capable of self-renewal and of generating a differentiated epithelial, endothelial and podocytic progeny, can also survive in vivo maintaining the undifferentiated status. The PKH(high) status, together with a CD133(+)/CD24(-) phenotype, identified a homogeneous cell population displaying in vitro self-renewal and multipotency capacity. The resident adult renal stem cell population isolated from nephrospheres can be used for the study of mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and differentiation in adult renal tissue as well as in renal pathological conditions.Stem Cell Research 08/2013; 11(3):1163-1177. DOI:10.1016/j.scr.2013.08.004 · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of the human kidney is a complex process that requires interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal cells, eventually leading to the coordinated growth and differentiation of multiple highly specialized stromal, vascular, and epithelial cell types. The application of molecular biology and immunocytochemistry to the study of cell types involved in renal morphogenesis is leading to a better understanding of nephrogenesis, which requires a fine balance of many factors that can be disturbed by various prenatal events in humans. The aim of this paper is to review human kidney organogenesis, with particular emphasis on the sequence of morphological events, on the immunohistochemical peculiarities of nephron progenitor populations and on the molecular pathways regulating the process of mesenchymal to epithelial transition. Kidney development can be subdivided into five steps: (i) the primary ureteric bud (UB); (ii) the cap mesenchyme; (iii) the mesenchymal–epithelial transition; (iv) glomerulogenesis and tubulogenesis; (v) the interstitial cells. Complex correlations between morphological and molecular events from the origin of the UB and its branching to the metanephric mesenchyme, ending with the maturation of nephrons, have been reported in different animals, including mammals. Marked differences, observed among different species in the origin and the duration of nephrogenesis, suggest that morphological and molecular events may be different in different animal species and mammals. Further studies must be carried out in humans to verify at the morphological, immunohistochemical, and molecular levels if the outcome in humans parallels that previously described in other species. J. Cell. Physiol. 227: 1257–1268, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Journal of Cellular Physiology 03/2012; 227(3):1257 - 1268. DOI:10.1002/jcp.22985 · 3.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have previously described the creation and analysis of a Notch1 activity-trap mouse line, Notch1 intramembrane proteolysis-Cre6MT or N1IP::Cre(LO), that marked cells experiencing relatively high levels of Notch1 activation. Here, we report and characterize a second line with improved sensitivity (N1IP::Cre(HI)) to mark cells experiencing lower levels of Notch1 activation. This improvement was achieved by increasing transcript stability and by restoring the native carboxy terminus of Cre, resulting in a five- to tenfold increase in Cre activity. The magnitude of this effect probably impacts Cre activity in strains with carboxy-terminal Ert2 fusion. These two trap lines and the related line N1IP::Cre(ERT2) form a complementary mapping tool kit to identify changes in Notch1 activation patterns in vivo as the consequence of genetic or pharmaceutical intervention, and illustrate the variation in Notch1 signal strength from one tissue to the next and across developmental time. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.Development 02/2015; 142(6). DOI:10.1242/dev.119529 · 6.27 Impact Factor