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Ultrastructural changes and nestin expression accompanying compensatory renal growth after unilateral nephrectomy in adult rats

Authors Eladl MA, M Elsaed W, Atef H, El-Sherbiny M

Received 4 September 2016

Accepted for publication 28 December 2016

Published 21 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 61—76


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal

Mohamed Ahmed Eladl,1,2 Wael M Elsaed,2,3 Hoda Atef,4 Mohamed El-Sherbiny2

1Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; 2Anatomy and Embryology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt; 3Anatomy and Embryology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Histology, University of Mansoura, Mansoura, Egypt

Background: Several renal disorders affect the glomerular podocytes. Compensatory structural and functional changes have been observed in animals that have undergone unilateral renal ablation. These changes occur as a pliant response to quench the increased functional demand to maintain homeostasis of fluid and solutes. Nestin is an intermediate filament protein present in the glomerular podocytes of the adult kidney and is linked with the maintenance of its foot process structure. Structural changes in the podocytes ultimately restructure the filtration barrier. Very few studies related to the ultrastructural and histopathologic changes of the podocytes are documented. The present study aimed to assess the histopathologic changes at the ultrastructural level in the adapted kidney at different time intervals following unilateral renal ablation in adult rats and its relation with nestin.
Methods: Forty-eight rats were divided into four groups (n=12 in each group). The animals of Group A were control naïve rats, while the group B, group C and group D animals underwent left unilateral nephrectomy and the remaining right kidney was removed on days 10, 20 and 30, respectively. Each group included four sham-operated rats, which were sacrificed at the same time as the naïve rats. Each nephrectomized sample was weighed and its sections were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin examination, transmission electron microscopic study as well as immunostaining using the intermediate filament protein nestin.
Results: No difference was found between the kidney sections from the control group and the sham-operated groups. A significant increase in the weight of the right kidneys was noted in groups B, C and D (P<0.001). The ultrastructural adaptive changes seen in the glomeruli of group B were subsequently reduced in groups C and D. This finding corresponded to a similar pattern of nestin expression in the podocytes, which showed significant increase in group B followed by reduced expression in groups C and D. Histopathologic and transmission electron microscopic evaluation of group B showed signs of kidney injury. On the other hand, group C animals showed markedly reduced renal adaptive changes and similar changes were also noted in group D.
Conclusion: Correlation between nestin expression and the ultrastructural changes confirms that nestin has a role in increasing the mechanical stability of the podocytes in order to enhance their morphologic changes in response to the tensile glomerular capillary wall. However, further studies investigating more remote ultrastructural changes and their relation with nestin expression are needed to confirm this relationship.

Keywords: glomerular proliferation, podocytes, basement membrane, subpodocytic space, TEM, nestin, nephrectomy, compensatory

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