The structure of the kidney of the Swiss albino mouse changes progressively during the first 2 weeks after birth. Cells proliferate to form new nephrons, cells differentiate by acquiring specialized membranous components, and certain cytological features which are present at birth diminish in abundance or disappear. The differentiation of the cells of the cortical tubules has been studied using the light and electron microscopes. The tubules are partially and variably differentiated at birth. During the first 2 weeks after birth the brush border develops in the proximal tubules by the accumulation of numerous microvilli on the apical cell margins. Basal striations develop in proximal and distal tubules as an alignment of mitochondria, the result of what appears to be progressive interlocking of adjacent fluted cells. The mitochondria increase in number and size, accumulate homogeneous matrix, and acquire small, very dense granules. The collecting ducts develop tight pleating of the basal cell membranes, and dark cells containing numerous small cytoplasmic vesicles and microvilli appear. At birth there are dense irregular cytoplasmic inclusions presumed to be lipide in renal cells, the cytoplasmic granules of Palade are abundant, and there are large round bodies in the cells of the proximal tubules. The lipide inclusions disappear a few days after birth, and the cytoplasmic granules of Palade diminish in abundance as the cells differentiate. The large round bodies in the proximal tubules consist of an amorphous material and contain concentrically lamellar structures and mitochondria. They resemble the cytoplasmic droplets produced in the proximal tubules of adult rats and mice by the administration of proteins. The large round bodies disappear from the proximal tubules of infant mice during the first week after birth, but the concentric lamellar structures may be found in adult mice.

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