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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;945:329-45. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-125-7_20.

Isolation, growth, and characterization of human renal epithelial cells using traditional and 3D methods.

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Department of Pathology, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


The kidney is a highly heterogeneous organ that is responsible for fluid and electrolyte balance. Much interest is focused on determining the function of specific renal epithelial cells in humans, which can only be accomplished through the isolation and growth of nephron segment-specific epithelial cells. However, human renal epithelial cells are notoriously difficult to maintain in culture. This chapter describes the isolation, growth, immortalization, and characterization of the human renal proximal tubule cell. In addition, we describe new paradigms in 3D cell culture which allow the cells to maintain more in vivo-like morphology and function.

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