Developmental regulation and the role of insulin and insulin receptor in metanephrogenesis

Zheng Z. Liu, Anil Kumar, Kosuke Ota, Elisabeth I. Wallner, Yashpal S. Kanwar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The insulin family of peptides and their receptors influence cellular growth in very early preimplantation embryos. In this study their expression and role in renal organogenesis was investigated. By immunofluorescence microscopy and in situ hybridization, insulin receptor (IR) expression was seen in the ureteric bud branches and early nephron precursors in mouse metanephroi harvested at day 13 of gestation. The expression gradually decreased in successive stages of gestation, and it was confined mainly to renal tubules in 1-week-old mice. Similar developmental regulation of the IR and insulin was observed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses. Addition of insulin into the culture medium at low concentrations, ranging from 40 to 400 ng/ml, induced trophic changes and increased [3H]thymidine incorporation in the embryonic renal explants, and inclusion of IR β-subunit-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide caused marked dysmorphogenesis and growth retardation of the metanephroi. Specificity of the antisense effect was reflected by immunoprecipitation experiments in which translational blockade of the β subunit of the IR was observed. RT-PCR analyses revealed that the α subunit of the IR was unaffected by the antisense treatment of metanephric explants. Concomitantly, de novo synthesis of morphogenetic regulatory extracellular matrix proteins, especially the proteoglycans, was decreased. Gel-shift analyses indicated a failure in the activation of c-fos promoter region binding protein(s) by insulin in the antisense oligodeoxynucleotide-treated explants. These studies suggest that insulin and its putative receptor are developmentally regulated in the murine embryonic metanephros, and they play a role in renal organogenesis, possibly by affecting other modulators of morphogenesis-i.e., extracellular matrix proteins and protooncogenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6758-6763
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 24 1997


  • Development
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Growth factors
  • Kidney
  • Protooncogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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