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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Podocytes populate cellular crescents in a murine model of inflammatory glomerulonephritis.

Cellular crescents are a defining histologic finding in many forms of inflammatory glomerulonephritis. Despite numerous studies, the origin of glomerular crescents remains unresolved. A genetic cell lineage-mapping study with a novel transgenic mouse model was performed to investigate whether visceral glomerular epithelial cells, termed podocytes, are precursors of cells that populate cellular crescents. The podocyte-specific 2.5P-Cre mouse line was crossed with the ROSA26 reporter line, resulting in irreversible constitutive expression of beta-galactosidase in doubly transgenic 2.5P-Cre/ROSA26 mice. In these mice, crescentic glomerulonephritis was induced with a previously described rabbit anti-glomerular basement membrane antiserum nephritis approach. Interestingly, beta-galactosidase-positive cells derived from podocytes adhered to the parietal basement membrane and populated glomerular crescents during the early phases of cellular crescent formation, accounting for at least one-fourth of the total cell mass. In cellular crescents, the proliferation marker Ki-67 was expressed in beta-galactosidase-positive and beta-galactosidase-negative cells, indicating that both cell types contributed to the formation of cellular crescents through proliferation in situ. Podocyte-specific antigens, including WT-1, synaptopodin, nephrin, and podocin, were not expressed by any cells in glomerular crescents, suggesting that podocytes underwent profound phenotypic changes in this nephritis model.[1]


  1. Podocytes populate cellular crescents in a murine model of inflammatory glomerulonephritis. Moeller, M.J., Soofi, A., Hartmann, I., Le Hir, M., Wiggins, R., Kriz, W., Holzman, L.B. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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