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Histology Of Urinary System

The students should be able to 1. List the parts of a nephron. 2. State the location of the various parts of the nephron. 3. Describe the structure and function of the renal corpuscle( malpighian corpuscle). 4. Describe the ultrastructure of the filtration barrier of the kidney.

5. describe the structure and function of the proximal convoluted tubule distal convoluted tubule loop of Henle collecting duct 6. describe the terms macula densa Juxtaglomerular apparatus

Urinary organs consist of Kidney - secrete the urine Ureters- convey urine to Urinary bladder is stored Urethra through which it is discharged from the bladder.

Kidneys pair of bean shaped organs lie on the posterior abdominal wall medial border- concave central part deep vertical fissure- hilum

central recess renal sinus in which

lie the artery, vein, renal pelvis outside the hilum, renal pelvis continues as the ureter Within the sinus renal pelvis divides into 2or 3 branches- Major calices further divides several minor calices

Medulla Branch of renal artery Minor calyces Major calyces Renal pyramid Pelvis Margin of Hilum Renal sinus Ureter

Renal papilla

Expanded end of each minor calyx is indented and moulded around 1-3 Renal papillae. are apices of renal pyramids. Structure of the Kidney External cortex reddish area Internal medulla Within medulla 8-18 Renal pyramids pale striated conical masses bases lie against the outer cortex Apices converge towards the renal sinus forming papillae

Each pyramid together with the cortex that caps it - forms the lobe of the kidney.
Number of renal lobes vary from 8-18

Portions of the cortex that dips in between adjacent pyramids- renal column columns of Bertini
Cortex extends from the renal capsule to the bases of pyramids and into the spaces between them. outer zone inner zone juxta -medullary cortex


Renal sinus Renal pelvis Renal capsule

Medullary Rays ray like extensions of medullary tissue that project into the cortex.

In the middle of the ray a branched collecting tubule that drains the surrounding nephrons.
Group of nephrons that open into it lobule of the kidney Cortical tissue between medullary rays cortical labyrinth

Renal Histology Kidney is composed of large number of tortuous, closely packed Uriniferous tubules. in each uriniferous tubule, two embryologically distinct parts 1.Nephron the functional unit of the kidney 2. Collecting tubule Cortex and the renal pyramid constitute the parenchyma.

Medullary ray

Nephrons have 3 basic functions. filtration substances are permitted to pass into nephrons. secretion filtered liquid gains some additional material( waste and excess substances) reabsorption some substances are returned to the blood. As a result of these actions urine is formed.

1.Nephron renal corpuscle - concerned with filtration

Renal tubule concerned with selective

reabsorption of substances
from glomerular filtrate. 2.Collecting tubule- carries fluid from number of renal tubules to a terminal papillary duct (Duct of Bellini) Papillary duct opens into a minor calyx at the apex of a renal papilla.

Nephron and their course within the kidney lobuleRenal corpuscle proximal convoluted tubule Thick Descending limb of loop of Henle Thin Ascending limb Distal convoluted tubule collecting tubule

Nephrons- cortical nephrons Juxta -medullary nephrons about1/7th of all nephrons are located near the cortico- medullary junction. Cortcal nephrons have very short thin descending limbs and no thin ascending limbs. Juxta-medullary nephrons very long loops extend deep into the medulla.

Short thick descending limb. Long thin descending and ascending and limbs, thick ascending limb.

Renal corpuscle - 1-2 million in each kidney ovoid bodies diameterof 150-250m Glomerulus tuft of capillaries
Bowmans capsule- double walled epithelial cup Glomerulus- number of capillary loops connecting an afferent arteriole with an efferent arteriole.

Both arterioles possess smooth muscles in the media. Afferent arteriole is thicker. Luminal diameter is almost equal. Differential in their respective tonus enable * to maintain a hydrostatic pressure along the entire length of glomerulur capillaries. * to produce large quantities of urine. Vascular pole of the renal corpuscle point where these vessels enter and leave.

Mesangial cells- stellate cells between anastomosing capillary loops Support to the capillary loops Keep glomerular filtrate free of debri by extending their cytoplasmic processes between endothelial cells and phagocytose macromolecuar material. Glomerular capsule of Bowman- consists of Inner visceral epithelium glomerulur epithelium Outer parietal or capsular epithelium Between two a narrow space- Bowmans space

At the vascular pole

visceral layer becomes continuous with the squamous epithelium of the parietal layer.

At the urinary pole

Capsular epithelium is continuous with the cuboidal epithelium of the neck of the proximal tubule. Cells of the visceral layer becomes extensively modified during development.

Basement membrane

Endothelium Podocyte

Secondary processes

Podocyte Secondary processes Filtration slit Primary process

Podocytes- stellate cells closely applied to the capillaries. several radiating primary processes that embrace the vessels. Primary processes give rise to numerous secondary processes Podocyte feet / foot processes.
secondary processes interdigitate with corresponding foot processes of neighboring Podocyte create an elaborate system of intercelluar clefts - fitration slits.

Filtration slits are 20-30 nm. wide each slit is spanned by a thin filtration slit diaphragm. Glomerular basement membraneA fused membrane made up of capillary basement membrane. basement membrane of the epithelium of the visceral layer. It is electron dense- lamina densa

Glomerular filtration barrierBarrier between blood circulating in glomerular capillaries and the capsular space of Bowman. Consists of 1. fenestrated endothelium of the glomerular capillaries. This will not hold back anything smaller than platelets. 2. Glomerular basement membrane

this behaves like a molecular sieve permit only relatively small molecules to pass through.

Continuous plugging up of GBM by macromolecules will be prevented by continuous blood flow in glomerular capillaries phagocytic activity of glomerular mesangial cells 3. Glomerular epithelium filtration slit diaphgram. present between adjacent foot processes. It is an additional molecular sieve.

Vascular Pole And Juxta-glomerular Cells In the vascular pole of the renal corpuscle, the distal convoluted tubule fits between the afferent and efferent arterioles. A specialised region present in the distal tubule at this site.

In the wall of the tube facing the glomerulus, epithelial cells become narrower than usual and nuclei come closer together -densely nucleated - Macula Densa

Afferent arteriole Distal convoluted tubule

Macula densa Lacis cells Juxta glomerulur cells Efferent arteriole Proximal convoluted tubule Bowmans space


Bowmans space Glomerulus Juxta glomerular apperatus Distal tubule Afferent Collecting duct

Proximal convoluted tubule

Juxta glomerular cells Macula densa

Afferent arteriole
Loop of Henle

Distal convoluted tubule

Between the macula densa and the glomerulus, lying in the notch between afferent and efferent arteriole group of small cells with pale stained nuclei - Lacis cells -extra glomerular mesangial cells. More significant feature of the vascular pole presence of special modified smooth muscle cells in the media of afferent arteriole juxta glomerular or JG cells.

Unlike other smooth muscle cells , their nuclei are rounded cytoplasm contain large secretary granules. Macula densa, lacis cells and JG cells Juxta glmerular complex.
JG cells play a role in regulation of blood pressure. Granules containing Renin enzyme which is liberated into the blood stream when there is decrease in blood pressure.

The Renal Tubule1. Proximal convoluted tubule- PCT is longer than the DCT More cut sections are seen near the renal corpuscles. Lined by simple cuboidal epithelium. Cells are larger, wider and triangular. More acidophilic. Basal spherical nucleus.

Brush border

Lateral extensions

Lateral borders are indistinct as they interdigitate with adjacent cells.

Luminal borders are covered with microvilli striate or brush border. PCT absorbs- water, many ions, glucose , amino acids. PCT excretes certain metabolites, dyes, drugs Shows the features of ion transporting cells.

Loop of Henle Thick descending portion- continuation of PCT structurally similar to PCT

Thin descending portion

Thin ascending portion Thick ascending portionrepresent the beginning of distal tubule, approaches the vascular pole of the glomerulus and continue as DCT.

all thin segments are lined by a single layer of squamous epithelium. Distal convoluted tubule most distal part of the nephron. like PCT, is situated in the renal cortex.

begins at the macula densa at the vascular pole.

persues a tortuous course until it reaches the proximal end of the collecting tubule.

being shorter than PCT, less numerous sections. cells are not as large as DCT less acidophilic. more spherical nuclei in the wall.
lumen is wider. does not exhibit a distinct striate border. lateral borders are more distinct.

Collecting tubules They are distinguishable as they are made up of cuboidal or columnar cells. have wider lumen. Lateral borders of the cells are distinct.

Ureters Essentially excretory ducts with fairly thick muscular wall. Epithelium -transitional Lamina propria prominent longitudinal folds it has a stellate appearance Muscular- upper 2/3rds inner longitudinal and outer circular smooth muscles. In the lower third -3 layers additional outer layer of longitudinal- important for peristaltic contractions . Outer most adventitia.

Section of the Ureter

Urinary Bladder- is a muscular reservoir in which urine is stored. 3 layers inner epithelium- transitional in the contracted state, mucous membrane shows numerous mucosal folds which becomes flattened with distension with urine. Muscular- 3 layers of smooth muscles like in lower part of the ureter. Adventitia- fibro-elastic connective tissue

Section of the Bladder