Identifying the molecular phenotype of renal progenitor cells

Grant A. Challen, Gemma Martinez, Melissa J. Davis, Darrin F. Taylor, Mark Crowe, Rohan D. Teasdale, Sean M. Grimmond, Melissa H. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Although many of the molecular interactions in kidney development are now well understood, the molecules involved in the specification of the metanephric mesenchyme from surrounding intermediate mesoderm and, hence, the formation of the renal progenitor population are poorly characterized. In this study, cDNA microarrays were used to identify genes enriched in the murine embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5) uninduced metanephric mesenchyme, the renal progenitor population, in comparison with more rostral derivatives of the intermediate mesoderm. Microarray data were analyzed using R statistical software to determine accurately genes differentially expressed between these populations. Microarray outliers were biologically verified, and the spatial expression pattern of these genes at E10.5 and subsequent stages of early kidney development was determined by RNA in situ hybridization. This approach identified 21 genes preferentially expressed by the E10.5 metanephric mesenchyme, including Ewing sarcoma homolog, 14-3-3 δ, retinoic acid receptor-α, stearoyl-CoA desaturase 2, CD24, and cadherin-11, that may be important in formation of renal progenitor cells. Cell surface proteins such as CD24 and cadherin-11 that were strongly and specifically expressed in the uninduced metanephric mesenchyme and mark the renal progenitor population may prove useful in the purification of renal progenitor cells by FACS. These findings may assist in the isolation and characterization of potential renal stem cells for use in cellular therapies for kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2344-2357
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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