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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2014 Dec;36:2-12. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Renal branching morphogenesis: morphogenetic and signaling mechanisms.

Author information

1
Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada; Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada.
2
Division of Nephrology, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada; Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada; Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: norman.rosenblum@sickkids.ca.

Abstract

The human kidney is composed of an arborized network of collecting ducts, calyces and urinary pelvis that facilitate urine excretion and regulate urine composition. The renal collecting system is formed in utero, completed by the 34th week of gestation in humans, and dictates final nephron complement. The renal collecting system arises from the ureteric bud, a derivative of the intermediate-mesoderm derived nephric duct that responds to inductive signals from adjacent tissues via a process termed ureteric induction. The ureteric bud subsequently undergoes a series of iterative branching and remodeling events in a process called renal branching morphogenesis. Altered signaling that disrupts patterning of the nephric duct, ureteric induction, or renal branching morphogenesis leads to varied malformations of the renal collecting system collectively known as congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and is the most frequently detected congenital renal aberration in infants. Here, we describe critical morphogenetic and cellular events that govern nephric duct specification, ureteric bud induction, renal branching morphogenesis, and cessation of renal branching morphogenesis. We also highlight salient molecular signaling pathways that govern these processes, and the investigative techniques used to interrogate them.

KEYWORDS:

Branching morphogenesis; CAKUT; Kidney; Signaling; Ureteric bud

PMID:
25080023
DOI:
10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.07.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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