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Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Jul;13(7):357-65.

Making a zebrafish kidney: a tale of two tubes.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


The kidney can be thought of as the pairing of two tubes: an epithelial tube (the nephron), carrying filtered blood and engaged in ion and water transport; and endothelial tubes (the blood vessels), delivering blood and carrying away recovered solute. The development of the nephron presents several interesting questions. How does an epithelial tube form and how is it patterned into functionally distinct components and segments? What guides the interaction between the vasculature and kidney epithelia? How are epithelial cell shape and lumen diameter maintained, and what goes wrong when kidney tubules balloon into cysts? Here, I outline the progress that has been made in answering these questions using the zebrafish pronephros as a simple, accessible model of nephron development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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