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kidney development

Cell Polarity and Cystic Diseases

There was an interesting article and accompanying editorial in JASN this month about the role of polarity in the development of cystic renal diseases. The maintenance of epithelial cell polarity is vital for the normal functioning of the…

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Genetics of Wilms Tumor

Wilms Tumor–named after the German surgeon/pathologist Max Wilms (pictured at left)–is an embryonal tumor that derives from developing kidney tissue. Wilms was the first to postulate that tumors may arise from precursor cells which arise during development, and…

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Branching Morphogenesis

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a movie is worth a thousand pictures, right? What is this video of exactly?  This elegant work comes from the lab of Frank Costantini and colleagues at Columbia University,…

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EMT = epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

The three letter acronym EMT:  what should it mean to nephrologists?  Not just “emergency medical technician”…but also “epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.”   As we all know the nephron is comprised of a long tube of highly-differentiated epithelial cells.  These cells…

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Ret & Kidney Development

The Ret gene plays an integral role in kidney development. As is covered in any basic embryology class, the cross-talk between the ureteric bud (destined to become the collecting system of the kidney) and the metanephrogenic mesenchyme (destined…

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UPJ Obstruction

UPJ obstruction is another common congenital abnormality which under some circumstances can lead to significant renal scarring and chronic kidney diseases. About 50% of ultrasounds during pregnancy which detect antenatal hydronephrosis turn out to have UPJ obstruction. UPJ…

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