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Location of the kidneys:
  • Lateral to T12-L3 Vertebrae
  • Right kidney is lower than left
  • Retroperitoneal (behind parietal peritoneum
Organ which functions to maintain the purity and chemical consistency of the blood and other extracellular body fluids, sending toxins, metabolic wastes, excess water and excess ions out of the body in urine and returning needed substances from the filtrate back to the blood
Cleft on the concave surface of the kidneys through which vessels, ureters, and nerves  enter and leave
Thin, tough layer of dense connective tissue that adheres directly to the kidney's surface, maintaining its shape and forming a barrier that can inhibit the spread of infection from the surrounding regions
Fibrous capsule (or renal capsule)
Envelope that lies just external to the perirenal fat capsule
Renal fascia
Layer of adipose tissue that lies just external to the renal capsule
Perirenal fat capsule
Layer of adipose tissue that lies external and mostly posterior to the renal fascia
Pararenal fat
Functions of the perirenal and pararenal fat layers: (2)
  • Cushion the kidney against blows
  • Help hold the kidneys in place
(T/F) The adrenal gland is functionally related to the kidneys
Rate of filtrate production by kidneys
1L of filtrate in 8 minutes
Main waste/breakdown products of kidneys: (3)
  • Urea - of amino acids
  • Uric acid - of nucleic acids
  • Creatine - of creatine phosphate
The kidneys maintain the chemical consistency of blood by: (2)
  • Regulate blood volume & pressure
  • Homeostasis of blood gases, pH, electrolyte, acid/base balance
Two distinct regions of internal kidney tissue
Cortex and medulla
Superficial region of internal kidney tissue; light and granular in appearance; contains renal columns which extend inward
Renal cortex
Inward extensions of the renal cortex that separate renal pyramids
Renal columns
Cone-shaped masses of the medulla in the internal kidney; exhibit striations because they contain roughly parallel bundles of tiny urine collecting tubules
Renal pyramids
Deep region of kidney tissue which appears darker in color and contains pyramids
Renal medulla
The apex of the pyramids found within the renal medulla
Consists of a single medullary pyramid plus the cortical tissue that surrounds it
How many lobes are in each kidney?
Large space within the medial part of the kidney opeining to the exterior through the renal hilum; filled space which contains vessels and nerves, some fat, and the urine-carrying tubes called the renal pelvis and renal calyces.
Renal sinus
Artery that branch at right angles from the abdominal aorta and divides into 5 segmental arteries as it approaches the hilum
Renal artery (2)
Arteries which lie in the renal columns between the renal pyramids and branch into arcuate arteries at the medulla-cortex junction
Interlobar arteries
Arteries which arch over the bases of the renal pyramids that branch into cortical radiate arteries
Arcuate arteries
Small arteries that radiate outward from the arcuate arteries, supplying the renal cortex
Cortical radiate arteries
(T/F) There are no segmental veins in the kidneys.
Blood leaving the renal cortex drains sequentially into the 1 , 2 , 3 , and 4 veins.
1. Cortical radiate
2. Arcuate
3. Interlobar
4. Renal
(T/F) The right renal vein is two times longer than the left renal vein.
False: The left renal vein is 2X longer than the right.
Network of sympathetic fibers and ganglia, an offshoot of the celiac plexus) located on the renal arteries which supply the kidney
Renal plexus
Main structural and functional unit of the kidney which produces urine through filtration, resorption, and secretion
Uriniferous tubules
Two parts of the uriniferous tubules
Nephron and Collecting duct (or tubule)
Component of the uriniferous tubule which is composed of a renal corpuscle and a tubular section consisting of the proximal and distal convoluted tubules and the loop of Henle
The first part of the nephron where filtration occurs; occur strictly in the cortex
Renal corpuscle
Two classes of Nephrons
  • Cortical nephrons - 85% (loops of Henle dip only a short distance into medulla)
  • Juxtamedullary nephrons - 15% (Loops of Henle go deep into medulla and help to produce concentrated urine)
Component of renal corpuscles make up of a tuft of capillaries surrounded by a glomerular capsule
Component of renal corpuscle which surrounds the glomerulus like an un-inflated balloon around a fist
Glomerular capsule (Bowman's capsule)
The parietal layer of the glomerular (Bowman's) capsule is made up of:
Simple squamous epithelium
The visceral layer of the glomerular (Bowman's) capsule consists of ? which are specialized epithelial cells that form filtration slits.
Three layer membrane that lies b/w the blood in the glomerulus and capsular space; restricts the filtration of large elements (blood cells) and proteins; allows passage of water, ions, glucose, amino acids and urea
Visceral filtration membrane
From the glomerulus, filtrate proceeds to the ? , which are lined by simple squamous epithelium that is adapted to its particular function in the production of urine; made up of three sections
Renal tubules
Section of the renal tubules of the nephron that lies in the cortex, composed of cuboidal cells w/ microvilli for its function in reabsorption and secretion, and contains lots of mitochondria and ion-pumps
Proximal convoluted tubule
Section of the renal tubules of the nephron that lies in the medulla; contains a descending limb, a thin segment, and a thick segment
Loop of Henle
The loop of Henle is composed of three sections of tubing: the 1 , which is continuous and resembles the proximal CT, the 2 , which is made up of permeable simple squamous epithelium, and a 3 , which is continuous and resembles the proximal CT.
1. Descending limb
2. Thin segment
3. Thick segment
Section of the renal tubules of the nephron that lies in the cortex and is composed of cuboidal epithelium for its function in resorption and secretion, contains fewer microvilli and lost of mitochondria and ion-pumps
Distal convoluted tubule
Structures which run through the cortex deep into the medulla and receive urine from distal convoluted tubules of several nephrons
Collecting ducts (collecting tubules)
Adjacent collecting ducts join other collecting ducts at the 1 of a pyramid to form 2 which empty into 3 .
1. Papilla
2. Papillary ducts
3. Minor calices
Three microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys:
1. Glomerular Capillaries
2. Peritubular (intertubular) capillaries
3. Vasa recta
Microscopic blood vessels of the kidneys that are fed and drained by both afferent and efferent atrioloes; efferent diameter is less than afferent diameter; high blood pressure found here which forces the movement of filtrate out
Glomerular capillaries
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