ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

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Kidney Week

Basic/Clinical Science Session

Macula Densa Front and Center

November 04, 2022 | 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Location: W230, Orange County Convention Center, West Building

Session Description

The macula densa, consisting only of a small number of cells, is the site where the early distal tubule talks to its own glomerulus. In this session, expert speakers shed new light on the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of the macula densa. A basic understanding of the macula densa cells and their role in tubuloglomerular feedback are covered. New insights from single-cell RNA-sequencing analyses reveal unique gene expression profiles. Recent discoveries include a role in tubular glucose sensing, new anatomical features, and an unexpected high protein synthesis rate with implications for the macula densa's general role within the kidneys.

Learning Objective(s)

  • Explain the basic functions of macula densa cells, including tubuloglomerular feedback
  • Describe the unique gene expression profile of macula densa cells
  • Discuss the relevance of the novel macula densa SGLT1-NOS1-signaling pathway
  • Define new features and functional implications of macula densa cells, such as maculapodia and high protein synthesis

Learning Pathway(s)

  • Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Disorders
  • Kidney Biology and Physiology


  • Branko Braam, MD, PhD, FASN
  • Clintoria R. Williams, PhD