Our team is interested in renal development. We aim to understand the mechanisms underlying nephron formation. The nephron is the functional and structural unit of the kidney, it is responsible for the filtration and elimination of wastes, and blood homeostasis, processes commonly affected in renal pathologies. We study the mechanisms of nephrogenesis using the Xenopus tadpole’s pronephros as a model. The pronephros constitutes a single enormous nephron on each side of the embryo. Unlike mammal nephrogenesis that relies on pre-existing renal structures, the Xenopus pronephros develops directly from pluripotent cells of the dorso-lateral mesoderm. Thereby, the model offers the possibility to study the mechanisms controlling renal lineage specification. Despite their differences during development, the nephron organization is remarkably conserved between Xenopus and mammals, especially the regionalization of the nephron tubule into functional domains controlling ions and nutrient reabsorption, and urine formation. Our research is focused on three main aspects of pronephros development: The commitment of a population of mesodermal cells towards a renal fate. What are the signals and genes responsible for renal precursor specification within the pronephric field? The formation of the epithelial tube that will give rise to the nephron tubule. How are cell shape, cell re-organization and cell polarity orchestrated during this process? The differentiation of the tubule, its regionalization and its morphogenesis. How are certain transcription factors regulating these processes?
UPMC Sorbonne Universités
Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement
UMR CNRS 7622
33 01 4427 3690
Fax: 33 01 4427 3497