Apoptosis during an early stage of nephrogenesis induces renal hypoplasia in bcl-2-deficient mice

Michio Nagata, Hiromitsu Nakauchi, Kei Ichi Nakayama, Keiko Nakayama, Dennis Loh, Teruo Watanabe

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Renal development in bcl-2-deficient mice was monitored to examine the temporal and spatial function of this gene during nephrogenesis in vivo. Extensive apoptosis occurred during abnormal nephrogenesis in bcl-2-deficient mice. In embryos and newborn mice, the sequence of morphological events was monitored by morphology in conjunction with morphometry, and bcl-2 -/-, bcl- 2 +/-, and bcl-2 +/+ mice were compared. In bcl-2 -/- mice, initial induction of nephrons was detected by embryonic day 13 (E-13) as normal. Then, apoptotic cells became five times more frequent at E-13 to E-16 with a significant reduction (1/5) in nephron number at E-17 to E-19 in bcl-2 -/- mice compared with bcl-2 +/+ mice. No morphological difference was evident between bcl-2 +/- mice and bcl-2 +/+ mice by morphometry. Apoptotic cells were found mainly among the mesenchyme and less frequently in tubuli. Little apoptosis among ureteric buds was noted. In bcl-2 -/- mice at E-17 to E-19, inactive branching and insufficient convolution of ureteric buds were accompanied by fulminant apoptosis in the mesenchyme. Neonatal bcl-2 -/- mice lacked the nephrogenic zone, exhibiting renal hypoplasia. Thus, bcl-2 seems to inhibit apoptosis in renal stem cells during the induction of nephrons in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1611
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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