The current studies used genetic fate mapping to prove that adult podocytes can be partially replenished following depletion. Inducible NPHS2-rtTA/tetO-Cre/RS-ZsGreen-R reporter mice were generated to permanently label podocytes with the ZsGreen reporter. Experimental focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) was induced with a cytotoxic podocyte antibody. On FSGS day 7, immunostaining for the podocyte markers p57, synaptopodin, and podocin were markedly decreased by 44%, and this was accompanied by a decrease in ZsGreen fluorescence. The nuclear stain DAPI was absent in segments of reduced ZsGreen and podocyte marker staining, which is consistent with podocyte depletion. Staining for p57, synaptopodin, podocin, and DAPI increased at FSGS day 28 and was augmented by the ACE inhibitor enalapril, which is consistent with a partial replenishment of podocytes. In contrast, ZsGreen fluorescence did not return and remained significantly low at day 28, indicating replenishment was from a nonpodocyte origin. Despite administration of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) thrice weekly throughout the course of disease, BrdU staining was not detected in podocytes, which is consistent with an absence of proliferation. Although ZsGreen reporting was reduced in the tuft at FSGS day 28, labeled podocytes were detected along the Bowman's capsule in a subset of glomeruli, which is consistent with migration from the tuft. Moreover, more than half of the migrated podocytes coexpressed the parietal epithelial cell (PEC) proteins claudin-1, SSeCKS, and PAX8. These results show that although podocytes can be partially replenished following abrupt depletion, a process augmented by ACE inhibition, the source or sources are nonpodocyte in origin and are independent of proliferation. Furthermore, a subset of podocytes migrate to the Bowman's capsule and begin to coexpress PEC markers.
- RTTA reporter mouse
- glomerular parietal epithelial cells
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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