Most studies on kidney development have considered the interaction of the metanephric mesenchyme and the ureteric bud to be the major inductive event that maintains tubular differentiation and branching morphogenesis. The mesenchyme produces Gdnf, which stimulates branching, and the ureteric bud stimulates continued growth of the mesenchyme and differentiation of nephrons from the induced mesenchyme. Null mutation of the Wt1 gene eliminates outgrowth of the ureteric bud, but Gdnf has been identified as a target of Pax2, but not of Wt1. Using a novel system for microinjecting and electroporating plasmid expression constructs into murine organ cultures, it has been demonstrated that Vegfa expression in the mesenchyme is regulated by Wt1. Previous studies had identified a population of Flk1-expressing cells in the periphery of the induced mesenchyme, and adjacent to the stalk of the ureteric bud, and that Vegfa was able to stimulate growth of kidneys in organ culture. Here it is demonstrated that signaling through Flk1 is required to maintain expression of Pax2 in the mesenchyme of the early kidney, and for Pax2 to stimulate expression of Gdnf. However, once Gdnf stimulates branching of the ureteric bud, the Flk1-dependent angioblast signal is no longer required to maintain branching morphogenesis and induction of nephrons. Thus, this work demonstrates the presence of a second set of inductive events, involving the mesenchymal and angioblast populations, whereby Wt1-stimulated expression of Vegfa elicits an as-yet-unidentified signal from the angioblasts, which is required to stimulate the expression of Pax2 and Gdnf, which in turn elicits an inductive signal from the ureteric bud.
"Due to the three-dimensional nature of kidney, there are limited methods of ex vivo gene manipulation that are capable of penetrating into the cultured organs, for example, the condensed cap mesenchyme, which will undergo mesenchyme-to-epithelial conversion and generate renal vesicle, comma-and S-shaped bodies, podocytes, and renal tubule compartments of the mature nephron   . HIV TAT-mediated protein transduction , siRNA transfection , plasmid microinjection, and electroporation  methods have been devised to achieve gene manipulation in cultured kidney. However, their limitations are quite evident. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Ex vivo culture of intact embryonic kidney has become a powerful system for studying renal development. However, few methods have been available for gene manipulation and have impeded the identification and investigation of genes in this developmental process. Results. Here we systemically compared eight different serotypes of
pseudotyped self-complementary adenoassociated viruses (scAAVs) transduction in cultured embryonic kidney with a modified culture procedure. We demonstrated that scAAV was highly effective in delivering genes into and expressing in compacted tissues. scAAV serotypes 2 and 8 exhibited higher efficiency of transduction compared to others. Expression kinetics assay revealed that scAAV can be used for gene manipulation at the study of UB branching and nephrogenesis. Repressing WT1 in cultured kidney using shRNA impairs tubule formation. We for the first time employed and validated scAAV as a gene delivery tool in cultured kidney. Conclusions. These findings are expected to expedite the use of the ex vivo embryonic kidney cultures for kidney development research. For other ex vivo cultured organ models, scAAV could also be a promising tool for organogenesis study.
"Separation of the Six2 + nephron lineage from the Foxd1 + stromal lineage within the Osr1 + precursor pool is thought to occur between E10.5 and E11.5 (Mugford et al., 2008). Finally, Flk1 + cells within the metanephric mesenchyme may contribute to the renal vasculature system (Gao et al., 2005). While the developmental origin of most of the cell types of the mature kidney has been characterized to an appreciable level, much less is known about the specification of the mesenchymal progenitor pool of the smooth muscle and fibroblast coatings of the ureter and the bladder, and the temporal separation of this lineage from the Six2 + and Foxd1 + progenitors of the metanephros. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian urogenital system derives from multipotent progenitor cells of different germinal tissues. The contribution of individual sub-populations to specific components of the mature system, and the spatiotemporal restriction of the respective lineages have remained poorly characterized. Here, we use comparative expression analysis to delineate sub-regions within the developing urogenital system that express the T-box transcription factor gene Tbx18. We show that Tbx18 is transiently expressed in the epithelial lining and the subjacent mesenchyme of the urogenital ridge. At the onset of metanephric development Tbx18 expression occurs in a band of mesenchyme in between the metanephros and the Wolffian duct but is subsequently restricted to the mesenchyme surrounding the distal ureter stalk. Genetic lineage tracing reveals that former Tbx18(+) cells of the urogenital ridge and the metanephric field contribute substantially to the adrenal glands and gonads, to the kidney stroma, the ureteric and the bladder mesenchyme. Loss of Tbx18 does not affect differentiation of the adrenal gland, the gonad, the bladder and the kidney. However, ureter differentiation is severely disturbed as the mesenchymal lineage adopts a stromal rather than a ureteric smooth muscle fate. DiI labeling and tissue recombination experiments show that the restriction of Tbx18 expression to the prospective ureteric mesenchyme does not reflect an active condensation process but is due to a specific loss of Tbx18 expression in the mesenchyme out of range of signals from the ureteric epithelium. These cells either contribute to the renal stroma or undergo apoptosis aiding in severing the ureter from its surrounding tissues. We show that Tbx18-deficient cells do not respond to epithelial signals suggesting that Tbx18 is required to prepattern the ureteric mesenchyme. Our study provides new insights into the molecular diversity of urogenital progenitor cells and helps to understand the specification of the ureteric mesenchymal sub-lineage.
"Several genes, with specific expression in the periureteric mesenchyme, have been shown to depend upon Tbx18: among them, SOX9 is required for correct differentiation of the ureteric smooth muscle layer (Kispert et al., 1998). Angioblast mesenchyme induction during early kidney development is mediated by VEGF-A, which appears to act on the angioblast population under WT1 control (Gao et al., 2005). "
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