From Infancy to Fancy: A Glimpse into the Evolutionary Journey of Podocytes in Culture

Shivangi Agarwal, Yashwanth R. Sudhini, Jochen Reiser, Mehmet M. Altintas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Podocytes are critical components of the filtration barrier and responsible for maintaining healthy kidney function. An assault on podocytes is generally associated with progression of chronic glomerular diseases. Therefore, podocyte pathophysiology is a favorite research subject for nephrologists. Despite this, podocyte research has lagged because of the unavailability of techniques for culturing such specialized cells ex vivo in quantities that are adequate for mechanistic studies. In recent years, this problem was circumvented by the efforts of researchers, who successfully developed several in vitro podocyte cell culture model systems that paved the way for incredible discoveries in the field of nephrology. This review sets us on a journey that provides a comprehensive insight into the groundbreaking breakthroughs and novel technologic advances made in the field of podocyte cell culture so far, beginning from its inception, evolution, and progression. In this study, we also describe in detail the pros and cons of different models that are being used to culture podocytes. Our extensive and exhaustive deliberation on the status of podocyte cell culture will facilitate researchers to choose wisely an appropriate model for their own research to avoid potential pitfalls in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • basic science
  • cell culture techniques
  • glomerulonephritis
  • podocytes
  • proteinuria
  • renal physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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