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Previous studies revealed apoptosis as an only programmed cell death (PCD) during renal morphogenesis before alternative type of PCD, necroptosis were introduced. Evidences of non-apoptotic PCD during renal development were scarce and needed to be accumulated. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether non-apoptotic PCD is involved in and observe ultrastructural features of apoptotic cells or non-apoptotic PCD during metanephros development. For this purpose, light and transmission electron microscopy were used. The most significant finding to come out of this study was that necroptosis was observed during developing metanephros by electron microscopy. The results also provided another fact that apoptosis and necroptosis constituted the PCD during embryonic development of kidney in mouse. Compared to necroptosis, apoptosis was more predominantly evident throughout whole development period and in every compartment of metanephros except for proximal tubule. However, necroptosis was only exhibited in developing nephrons also except for proximal tubule. In addition, outcomes of PCD were related to morphogenetic features of metanephric development. Efferocytosis for apoptotic cell or bodies took place in each type cell and whole period of developing metanephros. Besides efferocytosis blood flow and urine flux were available to remove the corpses of PCD, especially PCD from developing nephrons. Our findings suggested that both apoptosis and necroptosis play important roles during nephrogenesis and observed three ways to clear the PCD cell: efferocytosis, blood flow, and urine flux. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Xiaoming Li, Min Guo, Youzhi Shao. Ultrastructural observations of programmed cell death during metanephric development in mouse. Microscopy research and technique. 2013 May;76(5):467-75

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PMID: 23536536

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