mCCDcl1 cells exhibit a transitional phenotype: implications for collecting duct plasticity
Assmus, Adrienne Madeleine
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The cortical collecting duct of the mammalian kidney plays a critical role in the regulation of body volume, sodium pH and osmolarity and is composed of two distinct cells types, principal cells and intercalated cells. Each cell type is detectable in the kidney by the localization of specific transport proteins such as Aqp2 and ENaC in principal cells and V-ATPase B1 and Cx30 in intercalated cells. mCCDcl1 cells have been widely used as a mouse principal cell line on the basis of their physiological characteristics. In this study, the mCCDcl1 parental cell line and three sub-lines cloned from isolated single cells (Ed1, Ed2, and Ed3) were grown on filters to assess their transepithelial resistance, transepithelial voltage, equivalent short circuit current and expression of the cell-specific markers Aqp2, ENaC, V-ATPaseB1 and Cx30. The parental mCCDcl1 cell line presented amiloride-sensitive electrogenic sodium transport indicative of principal cell function, however immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR showed that some cells expressed the intercalated cell-specific markers V-ATPase B1 and Cx30, including a subset of cells also positive for Aqp2 and ENaC. The three subclonal lines contained cells that were positive for both intercalated and principal cell-specific markers. The vertical transmission of both principal and intercalated cell characteristics via single cell cloning, reveals the plasticity of mCCDcl1 cells, and a direct lineage relationship between these two physiologically important cell types, and is consistent with mCCDcl1 cells being precursor cells. For observation of live mCCDcl1 in an environment closer to in vivo conditions, a model of collecting duct was designed and developed using 3D printing of porous polymers. mCCDcl1 were cultured successfully and demonstrated improved characteristics compared to classic culture such as improved lifespan, different morphology and increased protein expression, and retained their phenotypic plasticity.