Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Feb;16(2):322-8. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Renal tubule development in Drosophila: a closer look at the cellular level.

Author information

  • 1Abteilung Zellbiologie, Biozentrum der Universit├Ąt Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


The function of excretion in insects is performed by the Malpighian tubules, a functional equivalent of the vertebrate kidney. Malpighian tubules are long, thin tubes connected to the hindgut. Upon the determination of the Malpighian tubule major cell type early in embryogenesis, the tubular architecture is achieved by extensive cell division and cell rearrangements. During the tube elongation process, cells exchange their neighbors, allowing the short and fat Malpighian tubule primordia to grow and become a thin tube. Cell rearrangement and intercalation underlie the morphogenesis of other epithelial tissues in Drosophila melanogaster, such as the embryonic epidermis. Recent work has provided insights in the cellular and molecular basis of cell intercalation. These advances are reviewed and discussed with regard to what is known about Malpighian tubule morphogenesis. Mature Malpighian tubules are composed of two cell types, each having a specific function in excretion: The principal cells and the stellate cells. Drosophila and mammalian kidney development show striking similarities, as the recruitment of the stellate cells to the Malpighian tubules, like the cells of the metanephric mesenchyme, requires that cells undergo a mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. The molecular similarities between these two cases is reviewed here.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk