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Am J Physiol. 1997 Apr;272(4 Pt 2):F460-8.

Localization of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 in adult and fetal human kidney: implication for renal function.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Philipps University Marburg, Germany.


To gain insight into the roles of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 in human kidney, we analyzed their expressions and localization in adult and fetal normal kidney. Immunohistology showed expression of COX-1 in collecting duct cells, interstitial cells, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells of pre- and postglomerular vessels. Expression of COX-2 immunoreactive protein could be localized to endothelial and smooth muscle cells of arteries and veins and intraglomerularly in podocytes. In contrast to the rat, COX isoforms were not detected in the macula densa. These data were confirmed by in situ mRNA analysis using digoxigenin-labeled riboprobes. In fetal kidney, COX-1 was primarily expressed in podocytes and collecting duct cells. Expression levels of COX-1 in both cell types increased markedly from subcapsular to juxtamedullary cortex. Glomerular staining of COX-2 was detectable in podocytes only at the endstage of renal development. In summary, the localization of COX-2 suggests that this enzyme may be primarily involved in the regulation of renal perfusion and glomerular hemodynamics. The expression of COX-1 in podocytes of the fetal kidney and its absence in adult glomeruli suggests that this isoform might be involved in glomerulogenesis.

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