Nestin, an intermediate filament protein, is widely used as stem cell marker. Nestin has been shown to interact with other cytoskeleton proteins, suggesting a role in regulating cellular cytoskeletal structure. These studies examined renal nestin localization and developmental expression in mice. In developing kidney, anti-nestin antibody revealed strong immunoreactivity in vascular cleft of the S-shaped body and vascular tuft of capillary loop-stage glomerulus. The nestin-positive structures also were labeled by endothelial cell markers FLK1 and CD31 in immature glomeruli. Nestin was not detected in epithelial cells of immature glomeruli. In contrast, in mature glomerular, nestin immunoreactivity was observed only outside laminin-positive glomerular basement membrane, and co-localized with nephrin, consistent with podocyte nestin expression. In adult kidney, podocytes were the only cells that exhibited persistent nestin expression. Nestin was not detected in ureteric bud and its derivatives throughout renal development. Cell lineage studies, using a nestin promoter-driven Cre mouse and a ROSA26 reporter mouse, showed a strong beta-galactosidase activity in intermediate mesoderm in an embryonic day 10 embryo and all of the structures except those that were derived from ureteric bud in embryonic kidney through adult kidney. These studies show that nestin is expressed in progenitors of glomerular endothelial cells and renal progenitors that are derived from metanephric mesenchyme. In the adult kidney, nestin expression is restricted to differentiated podocytes, suggesting that nestin could play an important role in maintaining the structural integrity of the podocytes.