A High-Content Screening Technology for Quantitatively Studying Podocyte Dynamics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Podocytes form the visceral layer of a kidney glomerulus and express a characteristic octopus-like cellular architecture specialized for the ultrafiltration of blood. The cytoskeletal dynamics and structural elasticity of podocytes rely on the self-organization of highly interconnected actin bundles, and the maintenance of these features is important for the intact glomerular filtration. Development of more differentiated podocytes in culture has dramatically increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating podocyte actin dynamics. Podocytes are damaged in a variety of kidney diseases, and therapies targeting podocytes are being investigated with increasing efforts. Association between podocyte damage and disease severity—or between podocyte recovery and the performance of therapeutic molecules—have been the venues of research for years. In this perspective, more standardized high–content screening has emerged as a powerful tool for visualization and analysis of podocyte morphology. This high-throughput fluorescence microscopy technique is based on an automated image analysis with simultaneous detection of various phenotypes (multiplexing) across multiple phenotypic parameters (multiparametric). Here, we review the principles of high-content screening technology and summarize efforts to carry out small compound screen using podocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug Discovery
  • High-Content Screening
  • Image Analysis
  • Podocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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