Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 17 pp 17601—17624
Parietal epithelial cell differentiation to a podocyte fate in the aged mouse kidney
- 1 Division of Nephrology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
- 2 Division of Nephrology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA
Received: April 30, 2020 Accepted: June 29, 2020 Published: August 28, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.103788
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Kaverina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Healthy aging is typified by a progressive and absolute loss of podocytes over the lifespan of animals and humans. To test the hypothesis that a subset of glomerular parietal epithelial cell (PEC) progenitors transition to a podocyte fate with aging, dual reporter PEC-rtTA|LC1|tdTomato|Nphs1-FLPo|FRT-EGFP mice were generated. PECs were inducibly labeled with a tdTomato reporter, and podocytes were constitutively labeled with an EGFP reporter. With advancing age (14 and 24 months) glomeruli in the juxta-medullary cortex (JMC) were more severely injured than those in the outer cortex (OC). In aged mice (24m), injured glomeruli with lower podocyte number (41% decrease), showed more PEC migration and differentiation to a podocyte fate than mildly injured or healthy glomeruli. PECs differentiated to a podocyte fate had ultrastructural features of podocytes and co-expressed the podocyte markers podocin, nephrin, p57 and VEGF164, but not markers of mesangial (Perlecan) or endothelial (ERG) cells. PECs differentiated to a podocyte fate did not express CD44, a marker of PEC activation. Taken together, we demonstrate that a subpopulation of PECs differentiate to a podocyte fate predominantly in injured glomeruli in mice of advanced age.