BACKGROUND: Understanding podocyte biology is key to deciphering the pathogenesis of numerous glomerular diseases. However, cultivation of primary podocytes results in dedifferentiation with loss of specialised architecture. Human conditionally immortalised podocytes partly overcome this problem, utilising a temperature-sensitive transgene. Conditionally immortalised murine podocytes exist, but are derived from the Immortomouse.
METHODS: Using retroviral temperature-sensitive SV40 transfection, we created a conditionally immortalised podocyte cell line from wild-type mice.
RESULTS: These cells develop characteristic mature podocyte morphology and robustly express slit diaphragm proteins. Functionally, these cells demonstrate comparable responses in motility and glucose uptake to human conditionally immortalised podocytes.
CONCLUSION: Podocyte-specific transgenic mice are extensively used to study glomerular disease and this technique could be used to make podocyte cell lines from any mouse, allowing study at the cellular level. This will help characterise these disease models and add to the laboratory resources used to study podocytopathies and glomerular disease.