The kidney is a highly integrated system of specialized differentiated cells that are responsible for fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. While much of today's research focuses on isolated nephron segments or cells from nephron segments grown in tissue culture, an often overlooked technique that can provide a unique view of many cell types in the kidney is slice culture. Here, we describe techniques that use freshly excised kidney tissue from rats to perform a variety of experiments shortly after isolating the tissue. By slicing the rat kidney in a "bread loaf" format, multiple studies can be performed on slices from the same tissue in parallel. Cryosectioning and staining of the tissue allow for the evaluation of physiological or biochemical responses in a wide variety of specific nephron segments. The procedures described within this chapter can also be extended to human or mouse kidney tissue.
Keywords: Human renal epithelial cells; Proximal tubule; Tissue staining.