The aim of the proposed work is to better understand the development of the juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA), in particular, the macula densa. The macula densa is a specialized portion of the distal tubule and is a key feature of the JGA, as it is believed to signal the other components of the JGA regarding distal tubule fluid composition, effecting changes in renal blood flow, glomerular filtration, and renin release. Relatively little is known about the development of this important region of the kidney. By identifying specific markers that can be used to delineate the macula densa, and applying this information to fetal kidneys, the development of this specialized portion of the nephron can be better characterized. Identification of the macula densa cells will also aid in studies aimed at uncovering the lineage, and, eventually, the isolation and in vitro study of these intriguing cells. Since the JGA is involved in control of the renin-angiotensin system and glomerular function, a better characterization of its development may be useful in understanding the basis for renal-based systemic diseases such as hypertension as well as diseases intrinsic to the kidney.
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|Arend, L J; Smart, A; Briggs, J P (1999) Metanephric rat-mouse chimeras to study cell lineage of the nephron. Dev Genet 24:230-40|