Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 372–377 | Cite as

Polypeptide growth factors in metanephric growth and segmental nephron differentiation

  • Ellis D. Avner
  • William E. SweeneyJr
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Developmental Renal Physiology August 24–26, 1989 Montreal, Canada Original Article


Although the developing nephron expresses receptors for various polypeptide growth factors, the specific roles of such factors in renal organogenesis are unknown. Therefore, the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) (8.2×10−11 M-1.6×10−8 M), multiplication stimulating activity (MSA) (6.6×10−10 M-1.3×10−8M) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) (1×10−12 M-1×10−9 M) on organotypic renal growth and segmental nephron differentiation were studied in a serum-free hormonesupplemented, murine metanephric organ culture system. Following culture in control or growth-factor-supplemented medium, explant growth was assessed, and explant growth and differentiation were determined morphometrically in four defined nephron segments which were identified morphologically or immunohistologically with segment-specific antibodies and/or lectins: glomeruli, proximal tubules, thick ascending limb-early distal tubules, and collecting tubules. Results showed that EGF increased overall renal growth and specific differentiation of distal elements, but retarded differentiation of glomeruli and proximal tubules. EGF also induced hyperplastic cystic malformation in proximal tubules. MSA stimulated explant growth and promoted segmental differentiation of all tubular segments. TGF-β globally retarded in vitro nephrogenesis. Such data demonstrate that polypeptide growth factors have multiple and often disparate effects on overall renal growth in relation to differentiation of discrete nephron segments and provide insight into the factors which may regulate normal and abnormal renal embryogenesis.

Key words

Polypeptide growth factor Epidermal growth factor Metanephric growth Transforming growth factor beta Nephron differentiation Organogenesis 


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Copyright information

© IPNA 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellis D. Avner
    • 1
    • 2
  • William E. SweeneyJr
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric NephrologyUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of NephrologyChildren's Hospital Medical CenterSeattleUSA

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