podocytes

Summary

Summary: Highly differentiated epithelial cells of the visceral layer of BOWMAN CAPSULE of the KIDNEY. They are composed of a cell body with major CELL SURFACE EXTENSIONS and secondary fingerlike extensions called pedicels. They enwrap the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS capillaries with their cell surface extensions forming a filtration structure. The pedicels of neighboring podocytes interdigitate with each other leaving between them filtration slits that are bridged by an extracellular structure impermeable to large macromolecules called the slit diaphragm, and provide the last barrier to protein loss in the KIDNEY.