Isolation of phagocytic cells from the rat renal glomerulus

S. M. Camazine, G. B. Ryan, E. R. Unanue, M. J. Karnovsky

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51 Scopus citations


A method is described for the dissociation of rat glomerular cells in vitro. Isolated endothelial cells were characterized by the persistence of fenestrae. Mesangial cells showed a variety of morphologic appearances; if dissociation was performed after an intravenous injection of ferritin, such cells were identified by the presence of large ferritin filled vacuoles. Intact epithelial cells were rarely seen, presumably because they did not survive the separation procedure. In culture, a high proportion of cells adhered to glass surfaces, were phagocytic, and had labeled heavily in vivo with ferritin; they were, thus, considered to be mesangial in origin. Receptors for immunoglobulin (Fc) and complement (C3) were also detected in such cells after 24 hours in culture, but not immediately after dissociation. The findings suggest that a population of isolated glomerular cells, probably comprising mainly of mesangial cells, is highly phagocytic and has the potential to develop Fc and C3 receptors. This technique offers a useful approach for the delineation of glomerular cell properties and functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-326
Number of pages12
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976


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