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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Feb;24(3):456-64. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012020154. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Proximal tubule proliferation is insufficient to induce rapid cyst formation after cilia disruption.

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  • 1Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1918 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Disrupting the function of cilia in mouse kidneys results in rapid or slow progression of cystic disease depending on whether the animals are juveniles or adults, respectively. Renal injury can also markedly accelerate the renal cyst formation that occurs after disruption of cilia in adult mice. Rates of cell proliferation are markedly higher in juvenile than adult kidneys and increase after renal injury, suggesting that cell proliferation may enhance the development of cysts. Here, we induced cilia loss in the kidneys of adult mice in the presence or absence of a Cux-1 transgene, which maintains cell proliferation. By using this model, we were able to avoid additional factors such as inflammation and dedifferentiation, which associate with renal injury and may also influence the rate of cystogenesis. After induction of cilia loss, cystic disease was not more pronounced in adult mice with the Cux-1 transgene compared with those without the transgene. In conclusion, these data suggest that proliferation is unlikely to be the sole mechanism underlying the rapid cystogenesis observed after injury in mice that lose cilia function in adulthood.

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