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Pediatr Nephrol. 1991 Nov;5(6):690-5.

Spatial association of renin-containing cells and nerve fibers in developing rat kidney.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville 22908.


The development of renin-containing cells and nerve fibers was studied in Sprague-Dawley rat kidneys during the last third of gestation and the first 15 days of postnatal life. Kidney tissue sections were stained for nerve fibers or double stained employing an anti-rat renin polyclonal antibody and a monoclonal antibody (TUJ1) directed against a neuron-specific class III beta-tubulin isotype. Renin-containing cells and nerve fibers were detected at 17 days of gestation, in close spatial relationship along the main branches of the renal artery. During fetal life, renin-containing cells and nerve fibers were spatially associated along arcuate and interlobular arteries, renin-containing cells being also present throughout the entire length of afferent arterioles supplying juxtamedullary glomeruli. During postnatal life the distribution of renin-containing cells progressively shifted to a restricted juxtaglomerular position in afferent arterioles. Simultaneously, density and organization of nerve fibers increased with age along the arterial vascular tree. Our results suggest that innervation of renin-containing cells is present in fetal life and follows the centrifugal pattern of renin distribution and nephrovascular development.

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