Kidneys are bilateral organs required to maintain homeostasis in the body through the regulation of fluid composition and the excretion of metabolic waste products. The initial steps in organ development are characterized by cellular interactions which regulate both the position and number of kidneys formed. Once established, further development is driven by orchestrated interactions between progenitor cell populations which serve to establish both nephrons—the functional unit of the organ which filters the blood—and the complex ramified collecting duct system which transports urine to the bladder. The delicate balance involved in these processes is reflected in the emerging family of genetic or environmental factors which, when perturbed, give rise to defects in organ development or function later in life. This article is categorized under: Vertebrate Organogenesis > From a Tubular Primordium: Branched Birth Defects > Organ Anomalies.
- branching morphogenesis
- congenital abnormalities of the kidneys and urinary tract
- kidney development