Nephron progenitor commitment is a stochastic process influenced by cell migration

Kynan T. Lawlor, Luke Zappia, James Lefevre, Joo Seop Park, Nicholas A. Hamilton, Alicia Oshlack, Melissa H. Little, Alexander N. Combes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Progenitor self-renewal and differentiation is often regulated by spatially restricted cues within a tissue microenvironment. Here, we examine how progenitor cell migration impacts regionally induced commitment within the nephrogenic niche in mice. We identify a subset of cells that express Wnt4, an early marker of nephron commitment, but migrate back into the progenitor population where they accumulate over time. Single cell RNA-seq and computational modelling of returning cells reveals that nephron progenitors can traverse the transcriptional hierarchy between self-renewal and commitment in either direction. This plasticity may enable robust regulation of nephrogenesis as niches remodel and grow during organogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41156
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cell migration
  • developmental biology
  • kidney development
  • mouse
  • nephron progenitor
  • regenerative medicine
  • single cell transcriptional profiling
  • stem cells
  • stochastic induction
  • Wnt4

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