The podocyte in health and disease: insights from the mouse

Clin Sci (Lond). 2007 Jun;112(6):325-35. doi: 10.1042/CS20060143.


The glomerular filtration barrier consists of the fenestrated endothelium, the glomerular basement membrane and the terminally differentiated visceral epithelial cells known as podocytes. It is now widely accepted that damage to, or originating within, the podocytes is a key event that initiates progression towards sclerosis in many glomerular diseases. A wide variety of strategies have been employed by investigators from many scientific disciplines to study the podocyte. Although invaluable insights have accrued from conventional approaches, including cell culture and biochemical-based methods, many renal researchers continue to rely upon the mouse to address the form and function of the podocyte. This review summarizes how genetic manipulation in the mouse has advanced our understanding of the podocyte in relation to the maintenance of the glomerular filtration barrier in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Gene Targeting
  • Glomerular Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Podocytes / metabolism
  • Podocytes / physiology*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Membrane Proteins