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    Previous studies using transgenic Pax3cre mice have revealed roles for fibroblast growth factor receptors (Fgfrs) and Fgfr substrate 2α (Frs2α) signaling in early metanephric mesenchyme patterning and in ureteric morphogenesis. The role of Fgfr/Frs2α signaling in nephron progenitors is unknown. Thus, we generated mouse models using BAC transgenic Six2EGFPcre (Six2cre) mediated deletion of Fgfrs and/or Frs2α in nephron progenitors. Six2cre mediated deletion of Fgfr1 or Fgfr2 alone led to no obvious kidney defects. Six2creFgfr1(flox/flox)Fgfr2(flox/flox) (Fgfr1/2(NP-/-)) mice generate a discernable kidney; however, they develop nephron progenitor depletion starting at embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) and later demonstrate severe cystic dysplasia. To determine the role of Frs2α signaling downstream of Fgfr2 in Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) mice, we generated Six2cre(,)Fgfr1(flox/flox)Fgfr2(LR/LR) (Fgfr1(NP-/-)Fgfr2(LR/LR)) mice that have point mutations in the Frs2α binding site of Fgfr2. Like Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) mice, Fgfr1(NP-/-)Fgfr2(LR/LR) develop nephron progenitor depletion, but it does not start until E14.5 and older mice have less severe cystic dysplasia than Fgfr1/2(NP-/-) To determine the role of Frs2α alone in nephron progenitors, we generated Six2creFrs2'A(flox/flox) (Frs2a(NP-/-)) mice. Frs2a(NP-/-)mice also develop nephron progenitor depletion and renal cysts, although these occurred later and were less severe than in the other Six2cre mutant mice. The nephron progenitor loss in all Six2cre mutant lines was associated with decreased Cited1 expression and increased apoptosis versus controls. FAC-sorted nephron progenitors in Six2cre Frs2'A(flox/flox) mice demonstrated evidence of increased Notch activity versus controls, which likely drives the progenitor defects. Thus, Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 have synergistic roles in maintaining nephron progenitors; furthermore, Fgfr signaling in nephron progenitors appears to be mediated predominantly by Frs2α. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Valeria Di Giovanni, Kenneth A Walker, Daniel Bushnell, Caitlin Schaefer, Sunder Sims-Lucas, Pawan Puri, Carlton M Bates. Fibroblast growth factor receptor-Frs2α signaling is critical for nephron progenitors. Developmental biology. 2015 Apr 1;400(1):82-93

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    PMID: 25641696

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