University of Oulu

Kidney development: roles of Sprouty, Wnt2b and type XVIII collagen in the ureteric bud morphogenesis

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Author: Zhang, Shaobing1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry
2University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2003
Publish Date: 2003-05-28
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on May 28th, 2003, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Jorma Paranko
Docent Juha Partanen


The mammalian metanephric kidney develops through ureteric bud branching morphogenesis and tubule formation and involves secreted inductive signals and possibly their antagonists to regulate the process. Sprouty (spry) genes encode antagonists of FGFs and the EGF signalling pathways. To get an insight to potential developmental roles of the spry genes, the expression of spry1, 2 and 4 was analyzed in developing kidney. Spry1 is expressed in the ureteric bud, and spry2 and 4 in the ureteric bud, the kidney mesenchyme and the nephrons deriving from it suggesting developmental roles for the sprys in kidney development.

Spry function was addressed in vivo in the kidney by targeting hspry2 expression to the ureteric bud with a Pax2 promoter. Hspry2 expression led to development of small, ectopic and cystic kidneys. Ureter branching was reduced and there was less glomeruli in a smaller kidney compared to the wild type controls. Spry2 may antagonize signalling of FGF2 and lead to changes in FGFR1 and FGFR3 expression. In organ culture ectopic FGFs restored ureteric branching of the hSpry2 transgenic kidneys suggesting that hSpry2 may antagonize FGF signalling in embryonic kidney. In addition to changes in FGFs, hspry2 expression also lead to downregulation of GDNF and BMP4. We conclude that the Sprouty-FGFs-FGFR signaling is important for kidney development.

Wnt2b is a recently identified member of the Wnt family of secreted growth factors, but its function in organogenesis is unknown. In the kidney Wnt2b is localized to the perinephric mesenchymal cells at the initiation of organogenesis. Wnt2b signalling supported ureteric bud growth and branching in vitro. Ureteric bud that was co-cultured with Wnt2b expressive cells or incubated with a known Wnt pathway regulator lithium, and then recombined with isolated kidney mesenchyme led to recovery of the expression of some ureteric epithelial marker genes and reconstitution of early kidney development. Hence, Wnt2b signalling is critical for induction of ureteric branching in vitro.

Type XVIII collagen is a matrix molecule and may be involved in Wnt signalling. Roles of type XVIII collagen in kidney and lung organogenesis was analysed. Type XVIII collagen expression correlated with the differences in epithelial branching in both of these organs and its expression in the epithelial tissue was mutually exclusive. In recombinants of ureteric bud and lung mesenchyme, type XVIII collagen expression pattern shifted from kidney to lung type and was accompanied by a shift in epithelial Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) expression and by ectopic lung Surfactant Protein C in the ureteric bud. Blocking of type XVIII collagen function prevented ureteric development with lung mesenchyme and associated with reduction in the expression of Wnt2.

Taken together, the findings suggest critical roles for Sprouty2, Wnt2b and type XVIII collagen in controlling pattern formation and the mode of ureteric bud branching in the embryonic kidney.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-6991-8
ISBN Print: 951-42-6989-6
Issue: 717
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2003. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.