Abstract: Background: The scattered tubular cells (STCs) are a population of resident progenitor tubular cells with expansion, self-renewal and epithelial differentiation abilities. Although these cells are localized within the proximal (PTs) and distal (DTs) tubules in a normal adult kidney, their presence has never been demonstrated in human macula densa (MD). The purpose of the present study is to describe the presence of STCs in MD using specific markers such as prominin-1 (CD133), cytokeratin 7 (KRT7) and vimentin (VIM). Methods: We analyzed two sets of three consecutive serial sections for each sample. The first sections of each set were immunostained for nNOS to identify MD, the second sections were immune-stained for CD133 (specific STCs marker) while the third sections were analyzed for KRT7 (another STCs specific marker) and VIM (that stains the basal pole of the STCs) in the first and second sets, respectively, in order to study the co-expression of KRT7 and VIM with the CD133 marker. Results: CD133 was localized in some MD cells and in the adjacent DT cells. Moreover, CD133 was detected in the parietal epithelial cells of Bowman’s capsule and in some proximal tubules (PT). KRT7-positive cells were identified in MD and adjacent DT cells, while KRT7 positivity was mostly confined in both DT and collecting ducts (CD) in the other areas of the renal parenchyma. CD133 and KRT7 were co-expressed in some MD and adjacent DT cells. Some of the latter cells were positive both for CD133 and VIM. CD133 was always localized in the apical part of the cells, whereas the VIM expression was evident only in the cellular basal pole. Although some cells of MD expressed VIM or CD133, none of them co-expressed VIM and CD133. Conclusions: The presence of STCs was demonstrated in human adult MD, suggesting that this structure has expansion, self-renewal and epithelial differentiation abilities, similar to all other parts of renal tubules.
Scattered tubular cells markers in macula densa of normal human adult kidney / Tossetta, Giovanni; Fantone, Sonia; Lorenzi, Teresa; Galosi, Andrea Benedetto; Sagrati, Andrea; Fabri, Mara; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. - ISSN 1422-0067. - ELETTRONICO. - 23:10504(2022), pp. 1-13. [10.3390/ijms231810504]