Send to

Choose Destination
J Pathol. 2006 Nov;210(3):263-72.

Lessons from studies on focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: an important role for parietal epithelial cells?

Author information

Department of Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Glomerular diseases are caused by multiple mechanisms. Progressive glomerular injury is characterized by the development of segmental or global glomerulosclerosis independent of the nature of the underlying renal disease. Most studies on glomerular disease focus on the constituents of the filtration barrier (podocytes, glomerular basement membrane (GBM), endothelial cells) or the mesangial cells. Little attention is given to the epithelial cells lining Bowman's capsule, the so called parietal epithelial cells (PECs). This 'lack of attention' is partly explained by the presumed 'passive' function of PECs, which are large, flattened cells that cover Bowman's capsule in a single cell layer and form a barrier between the ultrafiltrate and the periglomerular interstitium, in normal glomerular physiology. A more important reason has been the lack of an established primary role for the parietal epithelium in glomerular diseases. However, in recent years, several studies have demonstrated that PECs are involved in extracapillary proliferation. In addition, PECs can become highly active, proliferating cells, expressing many growth factors, chemokines, cytokines, and their receptors. It was recently demonstrated that PECs also play a part in the development of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). This review summarises current knowledge of the PEC, with emphasis on the role of PECs in the development of FSGS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center