Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 192, Issue 5, pp 385–397

Structure and function of podocytes: an update

  • Peter Mundel
  • Wilhelm Kriz
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00240371

Cite this article as:
Mundel, P. & Kriz, W. Anat Embryol (1995) 192: 385. doi:10.1007/BF00240371


Glomerular visceral epithelial cells, also termed podocytes, are highly specialized epithelial cells that cover the outer aspect of the glomerular basement membrane. Recent studies point to an important role of podocytes in the physiology and pathophysiology of the glomerulus. This review summarizes the structure-function relationships of podocytes. Following a description of the general morphology of podocytes, the technical problems associated with studying these cells are discussed. A survey of podocyte function forms the center of this review. Finally, selected aspects of podocyte development and cell division are discussed.

Key words

Glomerular visceral epithelial cell Podocyte Structure-function relationship Cell culture Glomerular basement membrane Podocyte development Cell division 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Mundel
    • 1
  • Wilhelm Kriz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology IUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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