Parietal cells-new perspectives in glomerular disease
SourceCell and Tissue Research, 369, 1, (2017), pp. 237-244
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell and Tissue Research
SubjectRadboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
In normal glomeruli, parietal epithelial cells (PECs) line the inside of Bowman's capsule and form an inconspicuous sheet of flat epithelial cells in continuity with the proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) at the urinary pole and with the podocytes at the vascular pole. PECs, PTECs and podocytes have a common mesenchymal origin and are the result of divergent differentiation during embryogenesis. Podocytes and PTECs are highly differentiated cells with well-established functions pertaining to the maintenance of the filtration barrier and transport, respectively. For PECs, no specific function other than a structural one has been known until recently. Possible important functions for PECs in the fate of the glomerulus in glomerular disease have now become apparent: (1) PECs may be involved in the replacement of lost podocytes; (2) PECs form the basis of extracapillary proliferative lesions and subsequent sclerosis in glomerular disease. In addition to the acknowledgement that PECs are crucial in glomerular disease, knowledge has been gained regarding the molecular processes driving the phenotypic changes and behavior of PECs. Understanding these molecular processes is important for the development of specific therapeutic approaches aimed at either stimulation of the regenerative function of PECs or inhibition of the pro-sclerotic action of PECs. In this review, we discuss recent advances pertaining to the role of PECs in glomerular regeneration and disease and address the major molecular processes involved.
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