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HOME Activities Structural Pathology

1.Research Summary

The research goal of the Department of Structural Pathology is to understand molecular basis to maintain the glomerular structure. For the purpose, we are using comprehensive proteomic approach coupled with molecular biology, ultrastructural morphology and cell biology.

2. Research subjects

  • Establishment of primary culture of glomerular epithelial cells
  • Components and functions of the intercellular junction of glomerular epithelial cells
  • Components and functions of the cytoskeleton of glomerular epithelial cells

3.Research Results

[Area] Department of Structural Pathology

[Research subject] Establishment of primary culture of glomerular epithelial cells

[Description]
Glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes) play critical roles on maintenance of glomerular structure and glomerular filtration. Establishment of podocyte culture is a prerequisite for study of podocytes. We have succeeded in primary culture of podocytes from isolated glomeruli of the rat. The cultured cells retain in situ phenotypes well. Especially, characteristics of podocytes have been elucidated in comparison with cultured parietal epithelial cells of Bowman's capsule. We showed that differentiated phenotypes of podocytes are influenced by cell density, fetal bovine serum, extracellular matrices, heparin and ATRA.

[Photographs]
Photographs

Glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes) growing out from isolated glomeruli.
(left) Phase contrast micrograph. (right) Immunofluorescence micrograph using anti-podocalyxin (green) and anti-desmin antibodies(red). G, isolated glomerulus.

[Area] Department of Structural Pathology

[Research subject] Components and functions of the intercellular junction of glomerular epithelial cells

[Description]
The intercellular junctions of glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes) are morphologically distinguished into two types; one is the slit diaphragm and the other is the tight junction-based complex. These are dynamically in transit with each other. The former is observed in physiological states and the latter in pathologic states as the main intercellular junction. To elucidate the functions of podocytes, components of both junctions and the interaction between them must be clarified. We have demonstrated and reported that CAR, Cx43, FAT1 and claudin-5 (see the Figure) are components of the latter complex.

[Photographs]
Photographs

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