OBJECTIVE: L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules. The present study investigated the expression of L1CAM during the development in the fetal human kidney at different gestational ages, to reach a better knowledge on the role of L1CAM in renal morphogenesis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The immunohistochemical analysis for L1CAM was performed in 24 fetal kidneys of different gestational ages, ranging from 10 to 38 weeks. L1CAM expression was observed in all 24 kidneys examined.
RESULTS: Immunoreactivity for L1CAM was restricted to the collecting tubules, of the developing fetal kidneys. Moreover, L1CAM was detected in the ureteric bud tips, near the subcapsular metanephric mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells. L1CAM was also expressed in the collecting tubules undergoing fusion with the distal tubules of the developing nephrons. L1CAM was mainly expressed along the cell membrane. In fetal kidneys in which the renal pelvis was observed, epithelial cells of the renal pelvis showed strong membranous reactivity for L1CAM.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that L1CAM is expressed in all stages of human kidney nephrogenesis, being restricted to the renal structures derived from the ureteric bud. The expression of L1CAM in the cells of the ureteric bud tips suggests a major role for this adhesion molecule in the induction of metanephric mesenchymal cells to undergo mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and differentiation into new nephrons. The interindividual variability in L1CAM expression observed in this study might be related to different levels of nephrogenesis, suggesting L1CAM involvement in the fetal programming of adult kidney diseases.Free PDF Download
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F. Cau, C. Gerosa, R. Murru, G. Pichiri, P. Coni, M. Piras, A. Scano, G. Orrù, G. La Nasa, F. Coghe, M. Castagnola, P. Van Eyken, L. Saba, D. Fanni, G. Faa
Interindividual variability in L1CAM expression in the human kidney during development: are there implications for fetal programming of kidney diseases presenting in adulthood?
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 26 - N. 12