Application of the Microbiological Approach to the Study of Passive Monovalent Salt Transport in a Kidney Epithelial Cell Line, MDCK
The mammalian kidney is a complex organ consisting of several tissues and a large number of distinct cell types. A multiplicity of epithelial cell types line fluid-filled tubules, differing morphologically and functionally depending on the segment of the tubule in which they arise. They are connected by junctional complexes which make for tissue integrity and allow intercellular communication (Fig. 1). They are polar, possessing plasma membranes of differing protein compositions on the mucosal and serosal sides of the cell. Asymmetry is essential to epithelial cell function since different transport systems are associated with the two membranes. Underlying the epithelial cell layer is a basement membrane, a complex network of proteins and carbohydrate-rich macromolecules, which confer a relatively static shape to the tubule. Underlying the basement membrane are fibroblasts which together with the epithelial cells participate in basement membrane biogenesis, synthesize collagen, and comprise much of the tissue bulk. Muscle, nerve, and endothelial cells participate in organ mobility, communication, and nutrition, respectively. The complexity of the kidney is awe inspiring. An understanding of its function will require the concerted efforts of numerous investigators applying a variety of experimental approaches to the same problem.
KeywordsMDCK Cell Athymic Nude Mouse Kidney Epithelial Cell Salt Transport Mock Cell
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