Multiphoton microscopy enables live imaging of the renal glomerulus. However, repeated in vivo imaging of the same glomerulus over extended periods of time and the study of glomerular function independent of parietal epithelial and proximal tubular cell effects has not been possible so far. Here, we report a novel approach for non-invasive imaging of acapsular glomeruli transplanted into the anterior chamber of the mouse eye. After microinjection, glomeruli were capable of engrafting on the highly vascularized iris. Glomerular structure was preserved, as demonstrated by podocyte specific expression of cyan fluorescent protein and by electron microscopy. Injection of fluorescence-labeled dextrans of various molecular weights allowed visualization of glomerular filtration and revealed leakage of 70â€...kDa dextran in an inducible model of proteinuria. Our findings demonstrate functionality and long-term survival of glomeruli devoid of Bowman's capsule and provide a novel approach for non-invasive longitudinal in vivo study of glomerular physiology and pathophysiology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas