Immunolocalization of fibroblast growth factor-1 and -2 in the embryonic rat kidney

Belinda Cancilla, Jennifer Cauchi, Brian Key, Victor Nurcombe, Daine Alcorn, John Bertram

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Fibroblast growth factors (FGF) regulate cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and angiogenesis during morphogenesis in many different tissues. Recent evidence indicates that exogenous FGF-2 stimulates mesenchymal condensation in cultured rat metanephroi, a crucial epithelial-mesenchymal induction event in the developing nephron. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the in vivo distribution of FGF-1 and FGF-2 in developing rat metanephroi at embryonic days 14, 15, 16, 18 and 20. Avidin-biotin enhanced indirect immunohistochemistry was used to demonstrate that both FGF-1 and FGF-2 were co-localized in metanephroi at all ages studied. High levels of FGF-1 and FGF-2 were present in ureteric bud branches and in developing distal tubules. Fibroblast growth factor-1 and FGF-2 were co-localized in developing nephron elements, from vesicles to S-shaped bodies, and in the mesangium of capillary loop and maturing stage glomeruli. Both growth factors were present in the mesenchyme of the nephrogenic zone and in the interstitium of the developing cortex. However, immunostaining for FGF was not evident in mesenchymal condensates, endothelial cells, medullary interstitial cells, or in the thin undifferentiated epithelium of the immature loop of Henle. These findings indicate that the expression of both FGF-1 and FGF-2 is tightly regulated in the embryonic kidney and suggest a role for these molecules in kidney development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Glomerulus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney
  • Metanephros

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