Growth Factor Regulation in the Nephrogenic Zone of the Developing Kidney

  • Leif Oxburgh
  • Sree Deepthi Muthukrishnan
  • Aaron Brown
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 60)


New nephrons are induced by the interaction between mesenchymal progenitor cells and collecting duct tips, both of which are located at the outer edge of the kidney. This leading edge of active nephron induction is known as the nephrogenic zone. Cell populations found within this zone include collecting duct tips, cap mesenchyme cells, pretubular aggregates, nephrogenic zone interstitium, hemoendothelial progenitor cells, and macrophages. The close association of these dynamic progenitor cell compartments enables the intricate and synchronized patterning of the epithelial and the vascular components of the nephron. Understanding signaling interactions between the distinct progenitor cells of the nephrogenic zone are essential to determining the basis for new nephron formation, an important goal in regenerative medicine. A variety of technologies have been applied to define essential signaling pathways, including organ culture, mouse genetics, and primary cell culture. This chapter provides an overview of essential signaling pathways and discusses how these may be integrated.


NPC Nephron progenitor Interstitial Stroma Collecting duct Nephrogenesis 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.

Grant R01DK078161 (L.O.). Literature included in this chapter represents a selection of reports from this vigorous research field, and we apologize to the many colleagues whose work we could not cite due to space constraints.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Oxburgh
    • 1
  • Sree Deepthi Muthukrishnan
    • 1
  • Aaron Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Molecular Medicine, Maine Medical Center Research InstituteScarboroughUSA

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