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A mathematical estimation of the physical forces driving podocyte detachment
Butt, L., Unnersjö-Jess, D., Höhne, M., Schermer, B., Edwards, A., & Benzing, T.
podocytefocal, segmental glomerulosclerosis, ultrafiltration
Loss of podocytes, possibly through the detachment of viable cells, is a hallmark of progressive glomerular disease. Podocytes are exposed to considerable physical forces due to pressure and flow resulting in circumferential wall stress and tangential shear stress exerted on the podocyte cell body, which have been proposed to contribute to podocyte depletion. However, estimations of in vivo alterations of physical forces in glomerular disease have been hampered by a lack of quantitative functional and morphological data. Here, we used ultra-resolution data and computational analyses in a mouse model of human disease, hereditary late-onset focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, to calculate increased mechanical stress upon podocyte injury. Transversal shear stress on the lateral walls of the foot processes was prominently increased during the initial stages of podocyte detachment. Thus, our study highlights the importance of targeting glomerular hemodynamics to treat glomerular disease.