Janos Peti Peterdi, MD, PhD

Professor of Physiology & Neuroscience Director of the ZNI Multiphoton Core Facility

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Dr. Janos Peti-Peterdi is professor at the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, and Medicine at the University of Southern California. He received his MD (1994) and PhD (1998) degrees from the Semmelweis University Medical School, Budapest, Hungary, and postdoctoral training in renal physiology/nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1997-2001). He joined the faculty at USC Keck School of Medicine in 2004, where he received tenure (2007).

Dr. Peti-Peterdi is dedicated to finding a cure for chronic kidney disease. His laboratory at USC examines kidney and cardiovascular pathophysiology—more specifically the mechanisms of the healthy kidney that control the maintenance of body fluid, electrolyte balance and blood pressure—and how they are changed in the disease state. The main goal of his laboratory is to identify the key molecular players in various renal pathologies as potential therapeutic targets, with the aim of developing new approaches for the treatment of kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Peti-Peterdi’s group played an important role in identifying the cellular and molecular processes of a key anatomical site within the kidney—the juxtaglomerular apparatus or JGA—which controls the amount of blood flow and filtration through the kidneys.

During the past decade, the laboratory pioneered several applications of intravital (live animal or in vivo) multiphoton microscopy allowing researchers to quantitatively visualize the most basic (patho) physiological parameters of kidney and nephron function, including tissue activity of a hormone called renin, which regulates the body’s mean arterial blood pressure. The Peti-Peterdi lab is using this imaging technology to examine complex regulatory and disease mechanisms in intact kidney tissue in various animal models, exploring chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, nephrotic syndrome (which causes excessive release of protein in urine), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (scar tissue in the filtering unit of the kidney which can lead to nephrotic syndrome), hypertension and diabetes. Dr. Peti-Peterdi has established and is director of the NIH-funded Multi-Photon Microscopy Core at USC for high-resolution intravital imaging of intact organs –kidney, liver, spleen, pancreas, skin, eye—in small laboratory animals. Over the past 5 years he has trained more than 30 investigators from around the world on the use of intravital imaging of the mouse kidney. His recent imaging studies addressed and solved a critical technical barrier in kidney research, allowing researchers for the first time to quantitatively visualize the function of cellular and molecular elements of the kidney filter (glomerulus) in vivo, to examine their roles in the development of disease.

Most recently, the Peti-Peterdi lab deployed serial multiphoton microscopy to track the fate and function of individual cells in the same region of the living intact kidney over several days, during disease development. This approach has led to significant advances in understanding the highly dynamic kidney tissue and glomerular environment, and the mechanisms of glomerular injury and regeneration. Ongoing work in the laboratory is studying the fate and function of renal stem cells, and their role in endogenous kidney repair. Based on targeting the molecular mechanisms that control a newly discovered tissue repair process, the Peti-Peterdi lab is currently developing a new regenerative therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic kidney diseases.

Dr. Peti-Peterdi’s active research program is funded by the NIH, the American Heart and Diabetes Associations. Dr. Peti-Peterdi is member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, American Physiological Society Renal Section, American and International Society of Nephrology, and the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research and Kidney Councils. He is Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology.


  • In vivo microscopy Nephrol Ther. 2016 Apr; 12 Suppl 1:S21-4. . View in PubMed
  • A practical new way to measure kidney fibrosis Kidney Int. 2016 11; 90(5):941-942. . View in PubMed
  • Regulation of Vascular and Renal Function by Metabolite Receptors Annu Rev Physiol. 2016; 78:391-414. . View in PubMed
  • Novel in vivo techniques to visualize kidney anatomy and function Kidney Int. 2015 Jul; 88(1):44-51. . View in PubMed
  • Newly stemming functions of macula densa-derived prostanoids Hypertension. 2015 May; 65(5):987-8. . View in PubMed
  • Intravital imaging of podocyte calcium in glomerular injury and disease J Clin Invest. 2014 May; 124(5):2050-8. . View in PubMed
  • Can kidney regeneration be visualized? Nephron Exp Nephrol. 2014; 126(2):86.. View in PubMed
  • Tracking the fate of glomerular epithelial cells in vivo using serial multiphoton imaging in new mouse models with fluorescent lineage tags Nat Med. 2013 Dec; 19(12):1661-6. . View in PubMed
  • Mitochondrial TCA cycle intermediates regulate body fluid and acid-base balance J Clin Invest. 2013 Jul; 123(7):2788-90. . View in PubMed
  • Metabolic control of renin secretion Pflugers Arch. 2013 Jan; 465(1):53-8. . View in PubMed
  • The first decade of using multiphoton microscopy for high-power kidney imaging Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jan 15; 302(2):F227-33. . View in PubMed
  • High glucose and renin release: the role of succinate and GPR91 Kidney Int. 2010 Dec; 78(12):1214-7. . View in PubMed
  • A high-powered view of the filtration barrier J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Nov; 21(11):1835-41. . View in PubMed
  • Macula densa sensing and signaling mechanisms of renin release J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Jul; 21(7):1093-6. . View in PubMed
  • Multiphoton imaging of renal regulatory mechanisms Physiology (Bethesda). 2009 Apr; 24:88-96. . View in PubMed
  • Calcium wave of tubuloglomerular feedback Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 Aug; 291(2):F473-80. . View in PubMed
  • Multiphoton imaging of renal tissues in vitro Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2005 Jun; 288(6):F1079-83. . View in PubMed
  • Confocal imaging and function of the juxtaglomerular apparatus Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2005 Jan; 14(1):53-7. . View in PubMed
  • Real-time imaging of renin release in vitro Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2004 Aug; 287(2):F329-35. . View in PubMed