XB-ART-52063Pediatr Nephrol. April 1, 2017; 32 (4): 547-555.
Xenopus: leaping forward in kidney organogenesis.
While kidney donations stagnate, the number of people in need of kidney transplants continues to grow. Although transplanting culture-grown organs is years away, pursuing the engineering of the kidney de novo is a valid means of closing the gap between the supply and demand of kidneys for transplantation. The structural organization of a mouse kidney is similar to that of humans. Therefore, mice have traditionally served as the primary model system for the study of kidney development. The mouse is an ideal model organism for understanding the complexity of the human kidney. Nonetheless, the elaborate structure of the mammalian kidney makes the discovery of new therapies based on de novo engineered kidneys more challenging. In contrast to mammals, amphibians have a kidney that is anatomically less complex and develops faster. Given that analogous genetic networks regulate the development of mammalian and amphibian nephric organs, using embryonic kidneys of Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) to analyze inductive cell signaling events and morphogenesis has many advantages. Pioneering work that led to the ability to generate kidney organoids from embryonic cells was carried out in Xenopus. In this review, we discuss how Xenopus can be utilized to compliment the work performed in mammalian systems to understand kidney development.
PubMed ID: 27099217
PMC ID: PMC5074909
Article link: Pediatr Nephrol.
Grant support: K01 DK092320 NIDDK NIH HHS