4 years ago

Notch is required for the formation of all nephron segments and primes nephron progenitors for differentiation.

Patrick Deacon, Joo-Seop Park, Eunah Chung
Notch signaling plays important roles during mammalian nephrogenesis. To investigate if Notch regulates nephron segmentation, we performed Notch loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies in developing nephrons in mice. Contrary to the previous notion that Notch signaling promotes the formation of proximal tubules and represses the formation of distal tubules in the mammalian nephron, we show that inhibition of Notch blocks the formation of all nephron segments and that constitutive activation of Notch in developing nephrons does not promote or repress the formation of a specific segment. Cells lacking Notch fail to form the S-shaped body and show reduced expression of Lhx1 and Hnf1b Consistent with this, we find that constitutive activation of Notch in mesenchymal nephron progenitors causes ectopic expression of Lhx1 and Hnf1b and that these cells eventually form a heterogeneous population of cells including proximal tubules and other types of cells. Our data suggest that Notch signaling is required for the formation of all nephron segments and that Notch signaling primes nephron progenitors for differentiation rather than directing their cell fates into a specific nephron segment.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1242/dev.156661

DOI: 10.1242/dev.156661

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