Distinct populations of label-retaining cells in the adult kidney are defined temporally and exhibit divergent regional distributions

Academic Article


  • DNA label-retention, or retention of a thymidine analog, is a characteristic of slow cycling cells and has been used to identify stem cells in several organ systems. Recent findings have demonstrated inconsistent localization of label-retaining cells (LRCs) in the kidney. Differences in the dose and timing of administration of deoxyuridine, the length of the chase period, and the species of animal used have made understanding the distinctions between these findings difficult. In the present studies, we utilized a dual loading scheme in the same animal to demonstrate that the cells labeled at different ages identified independent populations of LRC that distributed globally in an anti-parallel manner in the kidney. Loading with a DNA label in neonates identified LRC more often in the papilla, while administering the DNA label in adult mice identified LRC prominently in the cortex and the outer medulla. Furthermore, the tissue compartment distribution (epithelial-endothe-lial-interstitial) as well as the specific distribution within the nephron epithelia differed for these populations. These findings highlighted the complexity of the dynamics of cell proliferation in the kidney throughout the postnatal and adult period and call attention to the confusion associated with the term “label-retaining cells” for different timings of the loading and chase periods. This study indicated that the results of previous studies should be viewed as nonoverlapping and that further studies are needed to ascertain the role of each of these populations in the steady-state maintenance and injury recovery of the kidney.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rangarajan S; Sunil B; Fan C; Wang PX; Cutter G; Sanders PW; Curtis LM
  • Start Page

  • F1274
  • End Page

  • F1282
  • Volume

  • 307
  • Issue

  • 11