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Genes 2018, 9(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9020058

Renal Tubule Repair: Is Wnt/β-Catenin a Friend or Foe?

1
The Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
2
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wnt Signaling in Stem Cells)
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Abstract

Wnt/β-catenin signaling is extremely important for proper kidney development. This pathway is also upregulated in injured renal tubular epithelia, both in acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The renal tubular epithelium is an important target of kidney injury, and its response (repair versus persistent injury) is critical for determining whether tubulointerstitial fibrosis, the hallmark of chronic kidney disease, develops. This review discusses how Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the injured tubular epithelia promotes either repair or fibrosis after kidney injury. There is data suggesting that epithelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling is beneficial in acute kidney injury and important in tubular progenitors responsible for epithelial repair. The role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in chronically injured epithelia is less clear. There is convincing data that Wnt/β-catenin signaling in interstitial fibroblasts and pericytes contributes to the extracellular matrix accumulation that defines fibrosis. However, some recent studies question whether Wnt/β-catenin signaling in chronically injured epithelia actually promotes fibrosis or repair. View Full-Text
Keywords: kidney injury; renal fibrosis; epithelial injury kidney injury; renal fibrosis; epithelial injury
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Gewin, L.S. Renal Tubule Repair: Is Wnt/β-Catenin a Friend or Foe? Genes 2018, 9, 58.

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