Podocyte number and density changes during early human life.
Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany)
BACKGROUND: Podocyte depletion, which drives progressive glomerulosclerosis in glomerular diseases, is caused by a reduction in podocyte number, size or function in the context of increasing glomerular volume.
METHODS: Kidneys obtained at autopsy from premature and mature infants who died in the first year of life (n = 24) were used to measure podometric parameters for comparison with previously reported data from older kidneys.
RESULTS: Glomerular volume increased 4.6-fold from 0.13 ± 0.07 μm
CONCLUSIONS: As glomeruli continue to enlarge, podocyte density (number per volume) rapidly decreases, requiring a parallel rapid increase in podocyte size that allows podocyte foot processes to maintain complete coverage of the filtration surface area. Hypertrophic stresses on the glomerulus and podocyte during development and early rapid growth periods of life are therefore likely to play significant roles in determining how and when defects in podocyte structure and function due to genetic variants become clinically manifest. Therapeutic strategies aimed at minimizing mismatch between these factors may prove clinically useful.
Kikuchi M, Wickman L, Rabah R, Wiggins RC. Podocyte number and density changes during early human life. Pediatr Nephrol. 2017 May;32(5):823-834. doi: 10.1007/s00467-016-3564-5. Epub 2016 Dec 27. PMID: 28028615; PMCID: PMC5368211.