Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

Acid Test
30 August 2017

Acid Test

A drizzle of lemon juice in your salad, a pinch of baking soda in your dough. It's all about the balance between acid and alkali – something that is true both in cooking and in our kidneys. The kidney's collecting ducts help maintain the balance between acid and alkali so that our body’s cells have a comfortable environment to work in. Researchers investigated the development of collecting duct cells vital to this process: intercalated (ICs) and principal (PCs) cells. They deleted a protein called Tfcp2l1 in mice, imaged their kidneys (pictured) and at first sight the mutant kidneys (right) looked the same as normal kidneys (left). A closer look revealed a lack of mature ICs. It turns out Tfcp2l1 regulates a cascade of signals – called Notch signalling – that coordinates the development of ICs and PCs in different ways. Without Tfcp2l1, their development goes awry, disrupting the much-needed collecting ducts.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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