Podocytes structure and function in Kidney

The podocyte is the largest cell in the glomeruli. It has a highly specialized three dimensional structure and a unique molecular profile closely related to the basic functions it performs. Podocytes are large octopus shaped cells similar to GBM.

Transmission of Electronic Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) presented its unique and complex structure. Three main structural domains have been identified: cell body, cellular processes and foot processes. The body of a cell is usually located in a valley created by the reflection.of adjacent capillary loops.

The body of the cell contains the nucleus and other organelles as abundance of the endoplasmic reticulum, the large Golgi apparatus, mitochondria and excessive amount of lysosomes . Sometimes the rudimentary cilia are also present protruding from the surface. The body of the cell is not based directly on GIN. It is separated from the CBM by the subpodocyte space and layer on foot processes.

Subpodocyte space can be a dynamic compartment that can vary in volume, limit the movement of the ultrafiltrate in the urinary space, and provide a mechanism for the involvement of podocytes in the modulation of Capillary permeability and podocyte response to injury. Long, thin, arborizing cellular processes projecting from the cellular bodies.

 Podocytes structure and function in Kidney

These processes contain several organelles but are rich in microtubules and intermediate filaments that are parallel to the longitudinal axis. They can branch into secondary or tertiary cellular processes before investing several capillary loops. Cellular processes ultimately lead to finite structures called foot processes or pedicels.

It is difficult to differentiate the function of podocytes as they are still mysterious type of cells. Normally, they are categorized as modified form of pericytes having specialized intracellular junctions e.g slit diaphragm. As a supportive cell it also contributes in para-cellular permeability control. The most import function  is acting as barrier of glomerular filter.

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