Expression of bone morphogenetic protein receptors in the developing mouse metanephros

Exp Nephrol. 2001;9(6):372-9. doi: 10.1159/000052635.


While bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) 2, 4 and 7 have recently been implicated in aspects of metanephric development, and expression patterns of these ligands have been described in the developing metanephros, the distribution of BMP receptors in developing metanephroi remains unknown. In the present study, in situ hybridisation histochemistry was used to localise mRNAs for BMP type-I receptors (BMPR-IA and BMPR-IB) and the BMP type-II receptor (BMPR-II) in developing mouse metanephroi. At embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and E14.5 transcripts for BMP type-I receptors were localised to the tips and body of the branching ureter as well as mesenchymal condensates, developing vesicles and comma-shaped bodies. Localisation of BMPR-II transcripts was similar although expression was not observed in the body of the ureter. At E17.5, transcripts for all three receptors were localised in the nephrogenic zone including ureteric tips, vesicles, comma- and S-shaped bodies as well the body of the ureter and in tubules. BMP type-I and type-II receptor transcripts co-localised with each other, in agreement with the well-documented evidence that BMPs signal via heterotetrameric complexes of type-I and type-II receptors and with the previously reported metanephric expression pattern of BMPs. These patterns of receptor expression suggest that these molecules are important regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, nephron development and ureteric branching morphogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / genetics
  • Activin Receptors, Type I / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Histocytochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Growth Factor*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Distribution


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Bmpr1a protein, mouse
  • Bmpr1b protein, mouse
  • Bmpr2 protein, mouse
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II