[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian kidney is a complex organ consisting of multiple cell types. We previously showed that the Six2-expressing cap mesenchyme is a multipotent self-renewing progenitor population for the main body of the nephron, the basic functional unit of the kidney. However, the cellular mechanisms establishing stromal tissues are less clear. We demonstrate that the Foxd1-expressing cortical stroma represents a distinct multipotent self-renewing progenitor population that gives rise to stromal tissues of the interstitium, mesangium, and pericytes throughout kidney organogenesis. Fate map analysis of Foxd1-expressing cells demonstrates that a small subset of these cells contributes to Six2-expressing cells at the early stage of kidney outgrowth. Thereafter, there appears to be a strict nephron and stromal lineage boundary derived from Six2-expressing and Foxd1-expressing cell types, respectively. Taken together, our observations suggest that distinct multipotent self-renewing progenitor populations coordinate cellular differentiation of the nephron epithelium and renal stroma during mammalian kidney organogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute kidney injury (AKI) promotes an abrupt loss of kidney function that results in substantial morbidity and mortality. Considerable effort has gone toward identification of diagnostic biomarkers and analysis of AKI-associated molecular events; however, most studies have adopted organ-wide approaches and have not elucidated the interplay among different cell types involved in AKI pathophysiology. To better characterize AKI-associated molecular and cellular events, we developed a mouse line that enables the identification of translational profiles in specific cell types. This strategy relies on CRE recombinase-dependent activation of an EGFP-tagged L10a ribosomal protein subunit, which allows translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) of mRNA populations in CRE-expressing cells. Combining this mouse line with cell type-specific CRE-driver lines, we identified distinct cellular responses in an ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) model of AKI. Twenty-four hours following IRI, distinct translational signatures were identified in the nephron, kidney interstitial cell populations, vascular endothelium, and macrophages/monocytes. Furthermore, TRAP captured known IRI-associated markers, validating this approach. Biological function annotation, canonical pathway analysis, and in situ analysis of identified response genes provided insight into cell-specific injury signatures. Our study provides a deep, cell-based view of early injury-associated molecular events in AKI and documents a versatile, genetic tool to monitor cell-specific and temporal-specific biological processes in disease modeling.
The Journal of clinical investigation 05/2014; 124(5):2288. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myofibroblasts secrete matrix during chronic injury, and their ablation ameliorates fibrosis. Development of new biomarkers and therapies for CKD will be aided by a detailed analysis of myofibroblast gene expression during the early stages of fibrosis. However, dissociating myofibroblasts from fibrotic kidney is challenging. We therefore adapted translational ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) to isolate and profile mRNA from myofibroblasts and their precursors during kidney fibrosis. We generated and characterized a transgenic mouse expressing an enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-tagged L10a ribosomal subunit protein under control of the collagen1α1 promoter. We developed a one-step procedure for isolation of polysomal RNA from collagen1α1-eGFPL10a mice subject to unilateral ureteral obstruction and analyzed and validated the resulting transcriptional profiles. Pathway analysis revealed strong gene signatures for cell proliferation, migration, and shape change. Numerous novel genes and candidate biomarkers were upregulated during fibrosis, specifically in myofibroblasts, and we validated these results by quantitative PCR, in situ, and Western blot analysis. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of early myofibroblast gene expression during kidney fibrosis and introduces a new technique for cell-specific polysomal mRNA isolation in kidney injury models that is suited for RNA-sequencing technologies.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 03/2014; · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lengthy developmental programs generate cell diversity within an organotypic framework, enabling the later physiological actions of each organ system. Cell identity, cell diversity and cell function are determined by cell type-specific transcriptional programs; consequently, transcriptional regulatory factors are useful markers of emerging cellular complexity, and their expression patterns provide insights into the regulatory mechanisms at play. We performed a comprehensive genome-scale in situ expression screen of 921 transcriptional regulators in the developing mammalian urogenital system. Focusing on the kidney, analysis of regional-specific expression patterns identified novel markers and cell types associated with development and patterning of the urinary system. Furthermore, promoter analysis of synexpressed genes predicts transcriptional control mechanisms that regulate cell differentiation. The annotated informational resource (www.gudmap.org) will facilitate functional analysis of the mammalian kidney and provides useful information for the generation of novel genetic tools to manipulate emerging cell populations.
Development 05/2012; 139(10):1863-73. · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The murine vasorin (Vasn) gene, initially known as Slit-like 2, encodes a transmembrane protein that shares structural similarities with the eponymous Slit proteins. However, whether it also shares functional similarities with these large secreted proteins remains to be elucidated. Here, we report expression of Vasn during embryonic and fetal development of the mouse using whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and histochemical detection of β-galactosidase expressed from a targeted Vasn(lacZ) knock-in allele. Comparison of whole-mount staining patterns of both approaches showed identical expression domains, confirming that Vasn promoter-driven β-galactosidase expression faithfully reflects endogenous Vasn expression. Vasn is highly expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells (hence the name), a finding consistent with a previous report on its human homolog VASN, whose extracellular domain was shown to function as a TGF-β trap (Ikeda et al., 2004). Most striking, however, is Vasn's prominent expression in the developing skeletal system, starting as early as the first mesenchymal condensations appear. Moreover, distinct expression domains outside the bones, e.g., in the developing kidneys and lungs, suggest further roles for this gene in the mouse. Recently, it was shown that mitochondria-localized Vasn protects cells from TNFα- and hypoxia-induced apoptosis, and partial deletion of the Vasn coding sequence leads to increased sensitivity of hepatocytes to TNFα-induced apoptosis (Choksi et al., 2011). By providing a first comprehensive analysis of the Vasn expression pattern during mouse embryonic development, our study will help to further elucidate its biological functions.