Studies of the Glomerular Filtration Barrier: Integration of Physiologic and Cell Biologic Experimental Approaches

  • Melvin Silverman


The human kidney receives approximately 25% of the cardiac output and on a daily basis filters 2001 of plasma at the glomerulus. To maintain volume homeostasis and hemodynamic stability in the face of such large potential outflow “losses” requires that there be rigorous control of the balance between the glomerular filtration rate (i.e., rate of urine formation) and the rate of tubular fluid reabsorption along the nephron. Under normal circumstances, this control is achieved through a combination of hormonal (i.e., renin-angiotensin-aldosterone) and glomerulotubular feedback (macula densa—afferent arteriole resistance) mechanisms. At the level of the glomerular filtration barrier, the classic view of the physiology of urine formation is that it is an entirely passive process (5.1), described by:
$${\rm{GFR = }}k_f S(\Delta P - \Delta \pi ),$$
where GFR is the glomerular filtration rate, k f is the hydraulic conductivity coefficient of the glomerular filtration barrier, S is the surface area available for filtration, ΔP is the hydrostatic pressure gradient across the glomerular filtration barrier, and Δπ is the oncotic pressure gradient across the glomerular filtration barrier.


Glomerular Filtration Mesangial Cell Glomerular Basement Membrane Slit Diaphragm Glomerular Filtration Barrier 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1998

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  • Melvin Silverman

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