What is the role of podocytes in the pathophysiology of proteinuria?

Updated: Mar 25, 2020
  • Author: Beje Thomas, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Podocytes are the terminally differentiated visceral epithelial cells of the glomerulus found outside of the glomerular capillares; they face the Bowman space and the tubular infiltrate. Podocytes cover the glomerular capillaries and have extensions called foot processes that interdigitate with neighboring podoctyes, forming slit diaphragms 25-60 nm in size. Changes or effacement of foot processes is seen in many proteinuric states. Mutations in the genes that code for the proteins comprising the structure of the slit diaphragm can result in overt proteinuria.


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