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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;45(9):2109-18. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.06.013. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Podocyte energy metabolism and glomerular diseases.

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EA4576 MRGM, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.


Mitochondria are crucial organelles that produce and deliver adenosine triphosphate (ATP), by which all cellular processes are driven. Although the mechanisms that control mitochondrial biogenesis, function and dynamics are complex process and vary among different cell types, recent studies provided many new discoveries in this field. Podocyte injury is a crucial step in the development of a large number of glomerular diseases. Glomerular podocytes are unique cells with complex foot processes that cover the outer layer of the glomerular basement membrane, and are the principle cells composing filtration barriers of glomerular capillaries. Little is known on the modalities and the regulation of podocyte's energetics as well as the type of energy substrate primarily used for their activity, recent studies revealed that dysfunction of energy transduction in podocytes may underlie the podocyte injury associated with numerous glomerular diseases. We herein review and discuss the importance of a fine regulation of energy metabolism in podocytes for maintaining their cellular structure and related kidney function. In the future, understanding these mechanisms will open up new areas of treatment for glomerular diseases.


Energy metabolism; Foot process; Glomerulosclerosis; Mitochondria; Podocyte

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