The kidney contains the functional units, the nephrons, surrounded by the renal interstitium. Previously we discovered that, once Six2-expressing nephron progenitor cells and Foxd1-expressing renal interstitial progenitor cells form at the onset of kidney development, descendant cells from these populations contribute exclusively to the main body of nephrons and renal interstitial tissues, respectively, indicating a lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments. Currently it is unclear how lineages are regulated during kidney organogenesis. We demonstrate that nephron progenitor cells lacking Pax2 fail to differentiate into nephron cells but can switch fates into renal interstitium-like cell types. These data suggest that Pax2 function maintains nephron progenitor cells by repressing a renal interstitial cell program. Thus, the lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments is maintained by the Pax2 activity in nephron progenitor cells during kidney organogenesis.
International consortium providing a molecular atlas of gene expression for the developing organs of the GenitoUrinary (GU) tract; a high resolution molecular anatomy highlighting development of the GU system; mouse strains to facilitate developmental and functional studies within the GU system; experimental protocols and standard specifications; tutorials describing GU organogenesis and primary data via the database. The data are from large-scale in situ hybridization screens (wholemount and section) and microarray gene expression data of microdissected, laser-captured and FACS-sorted components of the developing mouse genitourinary (GU) system. These expression data are annotated using a high-resolution anatomy ontology specific to the developing murine GU system.
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