Development and degeneration of the arterial system in the mesonephros and metanephros of chicken embryos

Ana Carretero, Hans Ditrich, F. Javier Pérez‐Aparicio, Heinz Splechtna, Jesus Ruberte

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    Background: The general morphology of the mesonephric and metanephric arteries in chicken embryos has already been described previously. Moreover, the general basis of glomerulogenesis has also been established. However, the degeneration of the mesonephric vascular system, and especially glomerular degeneration, have not been well established yet. Also the morpology of the metanephric angiogenic buds has not been studied yet. Methods: Scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts and critical point dried specimens as well as light microscopy of serially sectioned material has been used in this study. Mesonephric degeneration coincides in time with metanephros growth and maturation in the developmental stages of chicken embryos chosen for this investigation (7.5, 9, 11, and 14 days of incubation). Results: The arterial system of the mesonephros in embryonic chicken is similar to that of the anuran kidney, as described in the literature. The morphology of the degenerating mesonephric glomeruli shows that the glomerular capillaries are more thick, tortuous, and numerous than those in normal glomeruli. The podocytes also show degeneration. The arterial system of the metanephros grows directly from the aorta and from the mesonephric arterial system. During these stages of rapid growth, the metanephros shows angiogenic buds. These angiogenic buds can be either pointed or round blind endings. Conclusions: The distribution and topography of the mesonephric and metanephric arteries is in general accordance with the literature. The process of glomerular degeneration in the mesonephros seems similar to glomerular senescence in man but is different from that of the aged rat glomeruli. The round angiogenic buds observed in the metanephros resemble tumoral angiogenic buds in some aspects. However, both angiogenesis and the degenerative phenomena are part of the normal developmental process. Consequently, the involved mechanisms are probably under sole genetic control. The system studied here offers therefore the possibility to study vascular growth and degeneration on the same model in physiological conditions without application of vasoactive or pathological agents. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)120-128
    JournalThe Anatomical Record
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


    • Angiogenesis
    • Arteries
    • Chick embryo
    • Corrosion casting
    • Glomerular degeneration
    • Kidney
    • Mesonephros


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