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An Intact Kidney Slice Model to Investigate Vasa Recta Properties and Function in situ

Crawford, C., Kennedy-Lydon, T., Sprott, C., Desai, T., Sawbridge, L., Munday, J., Unwin, R.J., Wildman, Scott S.P., Peppiatt-Wildman, Claire M. (2012) An Intact Kidney Slice Model to Investigate Vasa Recta Properties and Function in situ. Nephron Physiology, 120 (3). pp. 17-31. ISSN 1660-2137. (doi:10.1159/000339110) (KAR id:53061)


Background: Medullary blood flow is via vasa recta capillaries, which possess contractile pericytes. In vitro studies using isolated descending vasa recta show that pericytes can constrict/dilate descending vasa recta when vasoactive substances are present. We describe a live kidney slice model in which pericyte-mediated vasa recta constriction/dilation can be visualized in situ. Methods: Confocal microscopy was used to image calcein, propidium iodide and Hoechst labelling in ‘live’ kidney slices, to determine tubular and vascular cell viability and morphology. DIC video-imaging of live kidney slices was employed to investigate pericyte-mediated real-time changes in vasa recta diameter. Results: Pericytes were identified on vasa recta and their morphology and density were characterized in the medulla. Pericyte-mediated changes in vasa recta diameter (10–30%) were evoked in response to bath application of vasoactive agents (norepinephrine, endothelin-1, angiotensin-II and prostaglandin E2) or by manipulating endogenous vasoactive signalling pathways (using tyramine, L-NAME, a cyclo-oxygenase (COX-1) inhibitor indomethacin, and ATP release). Conclusions: The live kidney slice model is a valid complementary technique for investigating vasa recta function in situ and the role of pericytes as regulators of vasa recta diameter. This technique may also be useful in exploring the role of tubulovascular crosstalk in regulation of medullary blood flow.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1159/000339110
Uncontrolled keywords: Tubulovascular crosstalk, Kidney, Microvasculature, Medulla, Hemodynamics, Innervation, Live kidney slice model, Tissue slicing
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Scott S.P. Wildman
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2015 15:13 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Wildman, Scott S.P..

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Peppiatt-Wildman, Claire M..

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