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Ultrastructural identification of developing proximal tubules based on three-dimensional reconstruction

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DOI

  • Jing Cong, China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  • ,
  • Shi-Jie Chang, China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  • ,
  • Jesper Skovhus Thomsen
  • Arne Andreasen
  • ,
  • Xue Chen, China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  • ,
  • Jia Xing, China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  • ,
  • Jie Zhang, Department of Histology and Embryology, Basic Medical College, China Medical University, Shenyang, China; Department of Histology and Embryology, Jin Zhou Medical University, Jinzhou, China., Department of Histology and Embryology, Basic Medical College, China Medical University, Shenyang, China., China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China, Shenyang Northern Hosp, Shenyang, China.
  • ,
  • Ling Gu, China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China
  • ,
  • Xiao-Yue Zhai, Department of Histology and Embryology, Basic Medical College, China Medical University, Shenyang, China; Department of Histology and Embryology, Jin Zhou Medical University, Jinzhou, China., Department of Histology and Embryology, Basic Medical College, China Medical University, Shenyang, China., China Medical University, Department of Histology and Embryology, China Medical University, Shenyang, China, Shenyang Northern Hosp, Shenyang, China.

BACKGROUND: The cellular mechanisms involved in the development of proximal tubules are not only associated with morphogenesis in fetal life, but also with restoration of damaged tubules in adulthood. Knowledge about morphological features of cell differentiation and proliferation along the developing tubule is insufficient, which hinders identification of the cellular origin.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate ultrastructures of the proximal tubule at different stages of nephrogenesis.

METHODS: Electron microscopy was used and guided by computer-assisted tubular tracing to identify the cellular structures.

RESULTS: Renal vesicles and S-shaped bodies revealed more proliferative features, such as densely-packed fusiform-shaped cells with numerous protein-producing organelles than membrane specializations typical for mature tubules. At the capillary-loop stage the proximal tubules demonstrated all characteristics of the mature tubules, but not as developed, including shorter but densely packed microvilli, fewer lateral processes with cell-cell contacts, lower basal membrane infoldings, and lower mitochondrial volume density. However, they exhibited an elaborated endocytic system above the nucleus, indicating a membrane transport is being established. Abundant free- and endoplasmic reticulum-adhered ribosomes and Golgi complexes reflected active protein synthesis for cell growth and proliferation. Interestingly, electron dense cells were occasionally intermixed with electron lucent cells characterized by various organelles in less cytosol and a larger nucleus with abundant euchromatin, which is a feature of active proliferation.

CONCLUSIONS: These ultrastructures indicate that the morphogenesis of the developing proximal tubule corresponds to the gradually established physiological activities. The two different cellular electron densities may suggest distinctive differentiation of the cells along the tubule.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Medicine and Science
Number of pages10
ISSN2053-1095
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Veterinary Medicine and Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • S-shaped body, developing kidney, proximal tubule, renal vesicle, ultrastructure

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