Bladder-Ureter Integration and Vesicouretal Reflux
Vesicouretal reflux is a common urologic defect caused by incorrect flow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys causing expansion of the ureter and kidney damage. The Hoxa13 mutant mouse models this defect. A comparative analysis of genes expressed in Hoxa13 heterozygous control (+/-) and homozygous mutant (-/-) mice using Affymetrix microarrays and ChIP-seq have identified several candidate genes we are currently investigating for a role in bladder/ureter integration and direct regulation by HOXA13.
Developmental analysis of ureter bladder integration reveals an absence of ureter integration into the bladder wall of the Hoxa13 mutant embryo.
Wild type (left panel) and Hoxa13 mutant (right panel) littermates. Note ureter and kidney damage (arrows) as a consequence of vesicouretal reflux caused by the failure of the ureter to integrate into the bladder wall during development.