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Podocyte (CL_0000653)

Podocyte is a cell type in renal corpuscle and wraps around the capillary of the glomerulus in the kidney. Renal corpuscle filters the blood, retaining large molecules such as proteins and filtering out smaller molecules such as water, salts, and sugars in the formation of urine. Podocytes are specialized epithelial cells that reside in the visceral layer of the Bowman's capsule.

Podocyte graphic

Above is a graphic of podocyte on the outer surfaces of a section of glomerular capillary. Cell body, primary processes, and pedicles are shown. Neighboring cells with interdigitating pedicles not shown. Copyright: Melissa Clarkson.

Cell Ontology (CL) ID: CL_0000653

    CL definition: A glomerular visceral epithelial cell is a specialized kidney epithelial cell that contains "feet" that interdigitate with the "feet" of other glomerular epithelial cells. [database_cross_reference: GOC:tfm]

    Synonyms: glomerular visceral epithelial cell; epithelial cell of visceral layer of glomerular capsule; glomerular podocyte

Cell Hierarchy (defined by CL)

    Podocyte hierarchy according to the Cell Ontology (CL):

podocyte hierarchy

Above is a graphic (prepared by: Alex Diehl) of CL hierarchy of podocyte and its associated cell types represented in the CL. Later on we will show a cell hierarchy with live links to other cell types.

Location (defined by CL and UBERON)

    Podocyte wraps around the capillary of the glomerulus in the kidney.

'part of' some 'visceral layer of glomerular capsule' (UBERON_0005751)

Connections and Vicinity

    Podocytes are neighbors of many other cell types such as afferent and efferent arteriole endothelial cells, mesangial cell, etc.

    See more: check the image below, and check the Renal Corpuscle connectome card page.


    The kidney, including the kidney epithelial cells, arises from OSR1+ mesenchymal progenitor cells in the intermediate mesoderm. As a type of kidney epithelial cells, podocytes arise from cap mesenchyme progenitor cells and require activation of SIX2, PAX2 and WT1. Ref: Shankland et al., 2014.

Key Gene Ontology Terms associated with Podocyte

Biomarkers (check more: Podocyte HuBMAT)

    Podocyte-related biomarkers extracted from HuBMAP ASCT-B Tables:

    Note: Check more information from our Podocyte HuBMAT.

Ligands expressed in Podocyte

    More to add. Stay tuned ...

Receptors expressed in Podocyte

    More to add. Stay tuned ...

Neighborhood cell types of Podocyte

    The neighborhood cell types of podocyte are described in detail in the Renal Corpuscle Cell Connectome page.

Putative ligand-receptor target cell/structure of podocyte

    More to add. Stay tuned ...

Literature mined podocyte-related gene-gene interactions

    Please find literature mined results using Ignet:

Gene Expression Profiles

    Selected podocyte-associated gene expression studies:

    More to add. Stay tuned ...

Pathways and Functional Maps

    Podocyte-associated pathways and functional maps:

    More to add. Stay tuned ...


    Below are two images showing the podocytes inside the glomerulus:

podocytes in glomerulus

Left: The glomerulus structure that contains podocytes and other cells. Right: peripheral and podocytes highlighted. Copyright: Pinaki Sarder.
Note: The Sarder Lab Slide Analyzer and PodoSighter can be used to support podocyte image study.

Cell Line Cells

    The following cell lines are available:

Clinical Significance

    Many "abnormal podocyte cell morphology" (HP_0031265) phenotypes exist:

     Podocyte-related diseases also exist:


Note: This is a manually generated website. Lessons learned will be used for automatic cell card content generation. Feedback is welcome. Thanks!