The molecular basis of embryonic kidney development

Mech Dev. 1997 Mar;62(2):105-20. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(97)00667-9.

Abstract

The development of the mature mammalian kidney begins with the invasion of metanephric mesenchyme by ureteric bud. Mesenchymal cells near the bud become induced and convert to an epithelium which goes on to generate the functional filtering unit of the kidney, the nephron. The collecting duct system is elaborated by the branching ureter, the growth of which is dependent upon signals from the metanephric mesenchyme. The process of reciprocal induction between ureter and mesenchyme is repeated many times over during development and is the key step in generating the overall architecture of the kidney. Genetic studies in mice have allowed researchers to begin to unravel the molecular signals that govern these early events. These experiments have revealed that a number of essential gene products are required for distinct steps in kidney organogenesis. Here we review and summarize the developmental role played by some of these molecules, especially certain transcription factors and growth factors and their receptors. Although the factors involved are far from completely known a rough framework of a molecular cascade which governs embryonic kidney development is beginning to emerge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Growth Factors*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt4 Protein

Substances

  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Gdnf protein, mouse
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors
  • Glycoproteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt4 Protein
  • Wnt4 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Ret protein, Drosophila