Abstract: Drosophila renal stem cells (RSCs) contradict the common expectation that stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis. RSCs are abundant, quiescent and confined to the peri-ureter region of the kidney-like Malpighian tubules (MTs). Although derived during pupation like intestinal stem cells, RSCs initially remodel the larval MTs only near the intestinal junction. However, following adult injury to the ureter by xanthine stones, RSCs remodel the damaged region in a similar manner. Thus, RSCs represent stem cells encoding a developmental redesign. The remodeled tubules have a larger luminal diameter and shorter brush border, changes linked to enhanced stone resistance. However, RSC-mediated modifications also raise salt sensitivity and reduce fecundity. Our results suggest that RSCs arose by arresting developmental progenitors to preserve larval physiology until a time in adulthood when it becomes advantageous to complete development by RSC activation.

Journal Link: 10.1101/2021.12.03.471154 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar