The crucial roles played by HNF1β during kidney development

Abstract : HNF1β is a transcription factor expressed during nephrogenesis in the ureteric bud and in the tubular epithelia derived from the metanephric mesenchyme. Mutations in HNF1B/MODY5 represent one of the most prevalent human genetic defects responsible for Congenital Abnormalities of Kidney and Urinary Tract (CAKUT). To investigate the role played by HNF1beta during kidney development, I made use of a CRE-LoxP strategy to inactivate Hnf1b in different compartments and at different time points during mouse kidney morphogenesis. My results showed that Hnf1b is required for the expression of several key genes including Wnt9b, Emx2, Pax2 and Lhx. These genes are normally expressed in the ureteric bud and their absence leads to the formation of rudimentary kidneys, characterized by abnormal ureteric bud branching and lack of mesenchymal to epithelial transition. On the other hand, the specific inactivation of Hnf1b in the metanephric mesenchyme does not affect the early steps of epithelisation but leads to severe malformation of nephron precursors. In the absence of HNF1β, S-Shaped bodies lack the formation of a bulge of epithelial cells that normally give rise to Henle’s loops and proximal tubules. At the molecular level, these defects are associated with a decreased expression of Dll1, a Notch ligand that is directly controlled by HNF1β. This downregulation leads to a defective activation of the Notch pathway in the prospective tubular compartment of comma and S-shaped bodies. Preliminary results using a highly chimeric inactivation of Hnf1b in the mesenchyme showed that the spotted absence of Hnf1b does not prevent nephrogenesis. However, tubules are shorter and partially cystic. My results showed that murine models for Hnf1b deficiency recapitulates many of the malformations described in MODY5 patients. All together, my results improved our understanding of the genetic program controlled by HNF1β during kidney development whose dysfunction may lead to CAKUT in patients
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Filippo Maria Massa. The crucial roles played by HNF1β during kidney development. Human health and pathology. Université René Descartes - Paris V, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012PA05T034⟩. ⟨tel-00771435⟩

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