Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 1999 Nov 12;99(4):377-86.

Mesenchymal to epithelial conversion in rat metanephros is induced by LIF.

Author information

Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Inductive signals cause conversion of mesenchyme into epithelia during the formation of many organs. Yet a century of study has not revealed the inducing molecules. Using a standard model of induction, we found that ureteric bud cells secrete factors that convert kidney mesenchyme to epithelia that, remarkably, then form nephrons. Purification and sequencing of one such factor identified it as leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). LIF acted on epithelial precursors that we identified by the expression of Pax2 and Wnt4. Other IL-6 type cytokines acted like LIF, and deletion of their shared receptor reduced nephron development. In situ, the ureteric bud expressed LIF, and metanephric mesenchyme expressed its receptors. The data suggest that IL-6 cytokines are candidate regulators of mesenchymal to epithelial conversion during kidney development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances

Publication types

MeSH terms


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center