The macula densa (MD) is an anatomical structure having a plaque shape, placed in the distal end of thick ascending limb of each nephron and belonging to juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA). The aim of the present investigation is to investigate the presence of ZO-1, a specific marker of tight juncions (TJs), in MD cells. Six samples of normal human renal tissue were embedded in paraffin for ZO-1 expression analysis by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques. We detected ZO-1 expression in the apical part of cell membrane in MD cells by immunohistochemistry. In addition, ZO-1 and nNOS expressions (a specific marker of MD) were colocalized in MD cells providing clear evidence of TJs presence in normal human MD. Since ZO-1 is responsible for diffusion barrier formation, its presence in the MD supports the existence of a tubulomesangial barrier that ensures a regulated exchange between MD and JGA effectors in renal and glomerular haemodynamic homeostasis.
ZO-1 expression in normal human macula densa: immunohistechemical and immunofluorescence investigations / Tossetta, Giovanni; Fantone, Sonia; Senzacqua, Martina; Galosi, Andrea Benedetto; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico. - In: JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. - ISSN 0021-8782. - ELETTRONICO. - (2023). [10.1111/joa.13832]