Defined human renal tubular epithelia in culture: growth, characterization, and hormonal response

Am J Physiol. 1985 Mar;248(3 Pt 2):F436-43. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.1985.248.3.F436.


Individually microdissected nephron segments of defined epithelial origin from human kidneys were cultured in vitro in the present studies. Nephron segments of proximal convoluted tubule, proximal straight tubule, cortical thick ascending limb of Henle, and cortical collecting tubule were grown in defined media. Each cell type retained differentiated characteristics as assessed by ultrastructural morphology, marker enzyme profiles, and adenylate cyclase response to selected hormones. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of using primary cultures of well-defined segments of the human nephron to study human renal tubular epithelia in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colforsin
  • Culture Media
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / analysis
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / cytology*
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / analysis
  • Subcellular Fractions / ultrastructure
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / analysis


  • Culture Media
  • Diterpenes
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Colforsin
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase