Proliferation and remodeling of the peritubular microcirculation after nephron reduction: association with the progression of renal lesions

Am J Pathol. 2001 Aug;159(2):547-60. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)61726-9.


Little is known about the serial changes that might occur in renal capillaries after reduction of renal mass. In the current study, our aim was to document potential alterations in the morphology and proliferation of the renal cortical peritubular microcirculation at specific time points (7 and 60 days) after experimental 75% surgical nephron reduction using two strains of mice that we here demonstrate react differently to the same initial insult: one strain (C57BL6xDBA2/F1 mice) undergoes compensatory growth alone, whereas the other (FVB/N mice) additionally develops severe tubulo-interstitial lesions. Our data demonstrate that significant remodeling and proliferation occur in renal cortical peritubular capillaries after experimental nephron reduction, as assessed by microangiography using infusion of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextran, expression of the endothelial markers CD34 and Tie-2, and co-expression of CD34 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a surrogate marker of cell proliferation. This was accompanied by an increase of renal vascular endothelial growth factor protein levels and a change in distribution of this protein within the kidney itself. Moreover, most of these responses were accentuated in FVB/N mice in the presence of progressive renal disease and positively correlated with tubular epithelial cell proliferation. Hence, we have made three significant novel observations that illuminate the complex pathophysiology of chronic kidney damage after nephron reduction: 1) cortical peritubular capillaries grow by proliferation and remodeling, 2) vascular endothelial growth factor expression is altered, and 3) the development of tubulo-interstitial disease is genetically determined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Division
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Dextrans
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / analogs & derivatives
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Tubules / blood supply*
  • Kidney Tubules / cytology
  • Lymphokines / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microcirculation / cytology*
  • Microcirculation / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Nephrectomy
  • Nephrons / physiology*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Species Specificity
  • Urothelium / cytology
  • Urothelium / physiology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Biomarkers
  • Dextrans
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate