EphB2 and ephrin-B1 expressed in the adult kidney regulate the cytoarchitecture of medullary tubule cells through Rho family GTPases.
A method is described for the preparation of an enriched population of proximal tubules from the cortices of neonate (21-28 d old) rabbits. The method uses collagenase-hyaluronidase digestion, followed by gentle shear to yield a suspension of tubules and glomeruli. Tubular enrichment is achieved by discontinuous density gradient centrifugation in a Percoll gradient. Two fractions were obtained by this method. The denser fraction contained predominantly proximal tubules, was depleted of glomeruli and was enriched in the proximal tubule marker enzyme alkaline phosphatase. Qualitatively similar results to those obtained with neonate animals were obtained with adult tissue. Neonate tubules from the denser gradient fraction grew readily in tissue culture. When examined by electron microscopy the cells exhibited a marked polarity of ultrastructural organization and retained apical tight junctions. Despite this, there was an obvious loss of structure in comparison with in vivo proximal tubule cells. The use of primary culture techniques to study in vitro renal epithelial function is discussed.