Expression of fetal kidney growth factors in a kidney tumor line: Role of FGF2 in kidney development

Iain A. Drummond, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Vikas P. Sukhatme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To identify growth factors which may play a role in kidney organogenesis, we have analyzed culture supernatants from the pediatric kidney tumor cell line G401. G401 cells were found to secrete fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), a potent mitogen for mesenchymal cells, OP-1/BMP7, an epithelial cell growth inhibitor, and midkine (MK). Northern blotting confirmed expression of FGF2, OP-1/BMP7 and MK mRNA, as well as Wnt5A mRNA in G401 cells. In situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry on human fetal kidney demonstrated FGF2 expression in epithelial cells of the branching ureteric bud epithelium, nephron precursors ('S-shaped bodies'), proximal tubule epithelium and the parietal epithelium of the glomerulus. FGF2 protein in condensed 'caps' of induced mesenchymal cells was also detected by immunocytochemistry. FGF2 protein was found to be concentrated in nuclei, particularly in proximal tubule epithelial cells. Recombinant FGF2 was found to act as a mitogen on primary mouse fetal kidney cell cultures. The results demonstrate G401 cells secrete a variety of fetal kidney growth factors and that FGF2 may act as a mitogen for fetal kidney cells and thus could play a role in the morphogenesis of the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-533
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • FGF2
  • Fetal kidney
  • Growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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