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Histochemistry. 1984;81(4):385-90.

Renin immunohistochemistry in the mesonephros and metanephros of the pig embryo.


The occurrence and distribution of renin was investigated in meso- and metanephric kidneys of pig embryos in various gestational stages. The immunohistochemical peroxidase-antiperoxidase-method (PAP) was used on paraffin sections after application of an antiserum against mouse renin which cross reacts with pig renin. Renin immunoreactivity was already found in the mesonephros of 21 day pig embryos (crown-rump(CR)-length 12 mm) with the strongest reaction in the media of the juxtaglomerular afferent arteriole. Efferent vessels, mesonephric arteries, and the aortic wall also contained scattered renin-positive cells. In the definitive kidney, renin was not detected prior to the 25 mm CR-length-stage. In 45 mm embryos, immunocytochemical staining was observed not only in the media of kidney arteries and arterioles, but also in proximal tubules after pinocytic absorption of filtered renin. TEM-studies revealed that the media of both the mesonephric and the developing metanephric arteries and arterioles contains epithelioid cells whose ultrastructure is very similar to that of renin-producing cells in the adult organ. The observed distribution of renin-producing cells along the entire renal arterial tree points to the possibility that the major function of the renin-angiotensin system in the fetal animal is to participate in the stabilization of renal perfusion pressure.

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