Rxivist logo

Single cell transcriptomics reveal disrupted kidney filter cell-cell interactions after early and selective podocyte injury

By Abbe R. Clark, Jamie Marshall, Yiming Zhou, Monica S. Montesinos, Haiqi Chen, Lan Nguyen, Fei Chen, Anna Greka

Posted 31 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.30.229666

The health of the kidney filtration barrier requires communication between podocytes, endothelial cells and mesangial cells. Disruption of these cell-cell interactions is thought to contribute to disease progression in chronic kidney diseases (CKD). We recently demonstrated that podocyte ablation via doxycycline-inducible deletion of an essential endogenous molecule, CTCF (iCTCFpod-/-), is sufficient to drive progressive CKD. However, the earliest events connecting podocyte injury to disrupted intercellular communication within the kidney filter remain unclear. Here we performed single-cell RNA sequencing of kidney tissue from iCTCFpod-/- mice after one week of doxycycline induction to generate a map of the earliest transcriptional effects of podocyte injury on cell-cell interactions at single cell resolution. A subset of podocytes showed the earliest signs of injury due to disrupted gene programs for cytoskeletal regulation and mitochondrial function. Surviving podocytes upregulated Col4a5, causing reactive changes in integrin expression in endothelial populations and mesangial cells. Intercellular interaction analysis revealed several receptor-ligand-target gene programs as drivers of endothelial cell injury and abnormal matrix deposition. This analysis reveals the earliest disruptive changes within the kidney filter, pointing to new, actionable targets within a therapeutic window that may allow us to maximize the success of much needed therapeutic interventions for CKD. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

Download data

  • Downloaded 227 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 73,953 out of 101,137
    • In cell biology: 3,864 out of 5,237
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 24,805 out of 101,137
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 9,734 out of 101,137

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!