Origin and Function of the Renal Stroma in Health and Disease

  • Christopher J. Rowan
  • Sepideh Sheybani-Deloui
  • Norman D. Rosenblum
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 60)


The renal stroma is defined as a heterogeneous population of cells that serve both as a supportive framework and as a source of specialized cells in the renal capsule, glomerulus, vasculature, and interstitium. In this chapter, we review published evidence defining what, where, and why stromal cells are important. We describe the functions of the renal stroma andhow stromal derivatives are crucial for normal kidney function. Next, we review the specification of stromal cells from the Osr1+ intermediate mesoderm and T+ presomitic mesoderm during embryogenesis and stromal cell differentiation. We focus on stromal signaling mechanisms that act in both a cell and non-cell autonomous manner in communication with the nephron progenitor and ureteric lineages. To conclude, stromal cells and the contribution of stromal cells to renal fibrosis and chronic kidney disease are described.



This work was supported by grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canada Research Chairs Program (to NDR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (to SS), and the Research Training Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children (to CR).


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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

  • Christopher J. Rowan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sepideh Sheybani-Deloui
    • 1
    • 3
  • Norman D. Rosenblum
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathobiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Division of Nephrology, Department of PaediatricsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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