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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO0884

Elastin-Microfibril Axis Proteins Form Transient 3D Structures During Murine Nephrogenesis

Session Information

Category: Development, Stem Cells, and Regenerative Medicine

  • 500 Development, Stem Cells, and Regenerative Medicine


  • Lipp, Sarah N., Purdue University System, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States
  • Schwaderer, Andrew L., Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • Hains, David S., Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • Calve, Sarah, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, United States

Dynamic changes in the composition and structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are understudied but critical during renal development. Our recent proteomic study indicated proteins in the elastin-microfibril axis were upregulated with development; however, structural changes during maturation are unclear.


Kidneys were decellularized, stained for elastin-microfibril axis protein (EMILIN1), FREM2, and proteoglycans (WGA), imaged using confocal microscopy, and rendered in 3D using FIJI. For comparison, E18.5 cryosections were stained for additional members of the elastin-microfibril axis (COL26A1, FBN2).


At perinatal timepoints, elastin-microfibril axis proteins were organized in the interstitium surrounding developing tubular and glomerular elements, including vertical fibers connecting to the capsule and medullary ray sheath fibers. Patterning was lost in the adult (Fig. 1). Different elastin-microfibril axis proteins displayed similar staining patterns perinatally (Fig. 2).


The 3D corticomedullary junction structures for elastin-microfibril axis proteins at the perinatal timepoint were consistent with the proteomic trends. We hypothesize the structures are important for nephrogenesis through mechanical support and growth factor modulation.

Figure 1 (top): 3D visualization of EMILIN1 showed medullary ray sheath fibers transiently formed at E18.5. EMILIN1 was localized to the corticomedullary junction (green, white arrow) fibers surrounding tubules at E14.5 that grouped into medullary ray sheath fibers (*) at E18.5 but regressed in the adult murine kidney. Insets are visualization of the EMILIN1 channel. scale bar=500 µm
Figure 2 (bottom): Elastin-microfibril axis proteins displayed similar staining patterns at E18.5. Elastin-microfibril axis proteins (green) were co-stained for ECM (red). medullary ray sheath fibers (*), scale bar=500 μm


  • Other NIH Support