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1.  A novel method for the evaluation of proximal tubule epithelial cellular necrosis in the intact rat kidney using ethidium homodimer 
BMC Physiology  2007;7:1.
Background
Ethidium homodimer is a cell-membrane impermeant nuclear fluorochrome that has been widely used to identify necrotic cells in culture. Here, we describe a novel technique for evaluating necrosis of epithelial cells in the proximal tubule that involves perfusing ethidium homodimer through the intact rat kidney. As a positive control for inducing necrosis, rats were treated with 3.5, 1.75, 0.87 and 0.43 mg/kg mercuric chloride (Hg2+, intraperitoneal), treatments which have previously been shown to rapidly cause dose-dependent necrosis of the proximal tubule. Twenty-four h after the administration of Hg2+, ethidium homodimer (5 μM) was perfused through the intact left kidney while the animal was anesthetized. The kidney was then removed, placed in embedding medium, frozen and cryosectioned at a thickness of 5 μm. Sections were permeabilized with -20°C methanol and then stained with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) to label total nuclei. Total cell number was determined from the DAPI staining in random microscopic fields and the number of necrotic cells in the same field was determined by ethidium homodimer labeling.
Results
The Hg2+-treated animals showed a dose-dependent increase in the number of ethidium labeled cells in the proximal tubule, but not in other segments of the nephron. Other results showed that a nephrotoxic dose of gentamicin also caused a significant increase in the number of ethidium labeled cells in the proximal tubule.
Conclusion
These results indicate that this simple and sensitive perfusion technique can be used to evaluate cellular necrosis in the proximal tubule with the three-dimensional cyto-architecture intact.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-7-1
PMCID: PMC1810561  PMID: 17319948
2.  Differential expression of E-cadherin, N-cadherin and beta-catenin in proximal and distal segments of the rat nephron. 
BMC Physiology  2004;4:10.
Background
The classical cadherins such as E- and N-cadherin are Ca2+-dependent cell adhesion molecules that play important roles in the development and maintenance of renal epithelial polarity. Recent studies have shown that a variety of cadherins are present in the kidney and are differentially expressed in various segments of the nephron. However, the interpretation of these findings has been complicated by the fact that the various studies focused on different panels of cadherins and utilized different species. Moreover, since only a few of the previous studies focused on the rat, information regarding the expression and localization of renal cadherins in this important species is lacking. In the present study, we have employed dual immunofluorescent labeling procedures that utilized specific antibodies against either E- or N-cadherin, along with antibodies that target markers for specific nephron segments, to characterize the patterns of cadherin expression in frozen sections of adult rat kidney.
Results
The results showed that N-cadherin is the predominant cadherin in the proximal tubule, but is essentially absent in other nephron segments. By contrast, E-cadherin is abundant in the distal tubule, collecting duct and most medullary segments, but is present only at very low levels in the proximal tubule. Additional results revealed different patterns of N-cadherin labeling along various segments of the proximal tubule. The S1 and S2 segments exhibit a fine threadlike pattern of labeling at the apical cell surface, whereas the S3 segment show intense labeling at the lateral cell-cell contacts.
Conclusions
These results indicate that E- and N-cadherin are differentially expressed in the proximal and distal tubules of rat kidney and they raise the possibility that differences in cadherin expression and localization may contribute to the differences in the susceptibility of various nephron segments to renal pathology or nephrotoxic injury.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-4-10
PMCID: PMC459230  PMID: 15147582

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