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J Membr Biol. 2014 Aug;247(8):675-83. doi: 10.1007/s00232-014-9686-4. Epub 2014 Jun 7.

De novo expression of sodium-glucose cotransporter SGLT2 in Bowman's capsule coincides with replacement of parietal epithelial cell layer with proximal tubule-like epithelium.

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Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53226, USA,


In kidney nephron, parietal epithelial cells line the Bowman's capsule and function as a permeability barrier for the glomerular filtrate. Bowman's capsule cells with proximal tubule epithelial morphology have been found. However, the effects of tubular metaplasia in Bowman's capsule on kidney function remain poorly understood. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) plays a major role in reabsorption of glucose in the kidney and is expressed on brush border membrane (BBM) of epithelial cells in the early segment of the proximal tubule. We hypothesized that SGLT2 is expressed in tubularized Bowman's capsule and used our novel antibody to test this hypothesis. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed with our SGLT2 antibody on C57BL/6 mouse kidney prone to have tubularized Bowman's capsules. Cell membrane was examined with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stain. The results showed that SGLT2 was localized on BBM of the proximal tubules in young and adult mice. Bowman's capsules were lined mostly with normal brush border-less parietal epithelial cells in young mice, while they were almost completely covered with proximal tubule-like cells in adult mice. Regardless of age, SGLT2 was expressed on BBM of the tubularized Bowman's capsule but did not co-localize with nephrin in the glomerulus. SGLT2-expressing tubular cells expanded from the urinary pole toward the vascular pole of the Bowman's capsule. This study identified the localization of SGLT2 in the Bowman's capsule. Bowman's capsules with tubular metaplasia may acquire roles in reabsorption of filtered glucose and sodium.

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