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Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Aug 7;3(2):169-81. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2008.05.020.

Six2 defines and regulates a multipotent self-renewing nephron progenitor population throughout mammalian kidney development.

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1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

Nephrons, the basic functional units of the kidney, are generated repetitively during kidney organogenesis from a mesenchymal progenitor population. Which cells within this pool give rise to nephrons and how multiple nephron lineages form during this protracted developmental process are unclear. We demonstrate that the Six2-expressing cap mesenchyme represents a multipotent nephron progenitor population. Six2-expressing cells give rise to all cell types of the main body of the nephron during all stages of nephrogenesis. Pulse labeling of Six2-expressing nephron progenitors at the onset of kidney development suggests that the Six2-expressing population is maintained by self-renewal. Clonal analysis indicates that at least some Six2-expressing cells are multipotent, contributing to multiple domains of the nephron. Furthermore, Six2 functions cell autonomously to maintain a progenitor cell status, as cap mesenchyme cells lacking Six2 activity contribute to ectopic nephron tubules, a mechanism dependent on a Wnt9b inductive signal. Taken together, our observations suggest that Six2 activity cell-autonomously regulates a multipotent nephron progenitor population.

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PMID:
18682239
PMCID:
PMC2561900
DOI:
10.1016/j.stem.2008.05.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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