Injured podocytes lose differentiation markers. Therefore, the true identity of severely injured podocytes remains unverified. A transgenic mouse model equipped with a podocyte-selective injury induction system was established. After induction of podocyte injury, mice rapidly developed glomerulosclerosis, with downregulation of podocyte marker proteins. Proliferating epithelial cells accumulated within Bowman's space, as seen in collapsing glomerulosclerosis. In this study, the fate of injured podocytes was pursued. Utilizing Cre-loxP recombination, the podocyte lineage was genetically labeled with lacZ in an irreversible manner. After podocyte injury, the number of lacZ-labeled cells, which were often negative for synaptopodin, progressively declined, correlating with glomerular damage. Parietal epithelial cells, but not lacZ-labeled podocytes, avidly proliferated. The cells proliferating within Bowman's capsule and, occasionally, on the outer surface of the glomerular basement membrane were lacZ-negative. Thus, when podocytes are severely injured, proliferating parietal epithelial cells migrate onto the visceral site, thereby mimicking proliferating podocytes.