Microscopic structure of the kidney

  • Cesare De Martino
  • Delmas J. Allen
  • Lidia Accinni
Part of the Developments in Nephrology book series (DINE, volume 8)


Each of the paired kidneys is a complex, tubular gland comprised of numerous uriniferous tubules. The uriniferous tubule is the basic functional unit of the kidney. Each tubule consists of two distinct morphological entities: (1) the nephron, which produces the filtrate and (2) the collecting tubule which serves to concentrate the filtrate by the further removal of water. The nephron is composed of the glomerulus, the juxtaglomerular complex, the proximal convoluted tubule, the loop of Henle and the distal convoluted tubule. This chapter deals with the light and electron microscopic structure of both the connective tissue capsule and the uriniferous tubule in the parenchyma of the mammalian kidney.


Mesangial Cell Glomerular Basement Membrane Distal Convoluted Tubule Proximal Convoluted Tubule Afferent Arteriole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bulger RE: The urinary system. In: Cell and Tissue Biology, Weise L (ed), New York, Elsevier Biomedical, 1983, p 869–913.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tischer CC: Anatomy of the kidney. In: The kidney, Brenner BM and Rector FC (eds), Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1976, p 3–64.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rhodin J: The diaphragm of capillary endothelial fenestrations. J Ultrastruct Res 6: 171–185, 1962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Arakawa M: A scanning electron microscopy of the glomerulus of normal and nephrotic rats. Lab Invest 23: 489–496, 1970.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yamada E: The fine structure of the renal glomerulus of the mouse. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 1: 551–579, 1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rhodin J: Structure of the kidney. In: Diseases of the kidney, Strauss MD and Welt LG (eds), Boston, Little, Brown and Co, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Andrews PM: The kidney glomerular epithelium in response to different physiological states and experimental conditions. In: Three Dimensional Microanatomy of Cells and Tissue Surfaces, Allen DJ, Motta PM and DiDio JJA (eds), New York, Elsevier/North Holland, 1981, p 103–126.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Groniowski J, Becrzyskowa W, Walski M: Electron microscope studies on the surface coat of the nephron. J Cell Biol 4: 585–601, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kurtz SM, Feldman JD: Experimental studies on the formation of the glomerular basement membrane. J Ultrastruct Res 6: 19–27, 1962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Andres GA, Morgan C, Hsu KC, Rifkind RA, Seegal BC: Electron microscopic studies of experimental glomerulonephritis with ferritinconjugated antibody. J Exp Med 115: 929–936, 1962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Farquhar MG, Wissig SL, Palade GE: Glomerular permeability. I. Ferritin transfer across the normal glomerular capillary wall. J Exp Med 113: 47–65, 1961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    De Martino C, Accinni L, Procicchiani G: Ultrastructural study on contractile structures in mammalian nephron. Their development in the metanephros of human embryo. Z Zellforsch 140: 101–124, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Accinni L, Natali PG, Vassallo L, Hsu KC, De Martino C: Immunoelectron microscopic evidence of contractile proteins in the cellular and acellular components of mouse kidney glomeruli. Cell Tiss Res 162: 297–312, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Foidart JM, Mahieu PR, Foidart JB, Boniver J, Lambotte R: Heterogeneity of glomerular basement membrane antigens. In: Immunologia clinica dcl fegato e del rene e immunoterapia. Recenti progressi. Frada G (ed), Padova, Piccin Editore, 1983, p 347–366.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kanwar YS, Linker A, Farquhar MG: Increased permeability of the glomerular basement membrane to ferritin after removal of glycosaminoglycans (heparan sulfate) by enzyme digestion. J Cell Biol 86: 688–693, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zimmerman KW: Uber den Bau des glomerulus der Saugetiere. Weitere Mitteilungen. Z Mikr Anat Forsch 32: 176–278, 1933.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    De Martino C, Natali PG, Zamboni L, Accinni L: Ultrastructural study of mesangial cells and their relationship to smooth muscle cells of glomerular arterioles. In: Contributions to nephrology, Berlyne GM, Giovannetti S (eds), Basel, S. Karger, 1976, vol 2, p 17–24.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zamboni L, De Martino C: A re-evaluation of the mesangial cell of the renal glomerulus. Z Zellforsch u Mikr Anat 86: 364–383. 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Farquhar MG, Palade GE: Functional evidence of the existance of a third cell type in the renal glomerulus. Phagocytosis of filtration residues by a distinctive `third’ cell. J Cell Biol 13: 55–87, 1962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dunihue FW. Boldosser WG: Observation on the similarity of mesangial to juxtaglomerular cells. Lab Invest 12: 1228–1240. 1963.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goormaghtigh N: Les segments neuro-myo-arteriels juxtaglomerulaires du rein. Arch Biol 43: 575–591, 1932.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Barajas L: The ultrastructure of the juxtaglomerular apparatus as disclosed by three-dimensional reconstruction from serial sections: the anatomical relationship between the tubular and vascular components. J Ultrastruct Res 33: 116–147, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Oberling C, Hatt PY: Study of the j uxtaglomerular apparatus of the rat using the electron microscope. Ann Anat Pathol (Paris) 5: 441–474, 1960.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    De Martino C, Zamboni L: A morphological study of the mesonephros of the human embryo. J Ultrastruct Res 16: 399–427, 1966.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ericsson JLE, Trump BF: Electron microscopy of the uriniferous tubules. In: The kidney. Morphology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Roullier C. Muller AF (eds), New York, Academic Press, 1969, vol 1, p 351–447.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pease DC: Myoid features of the renal corpuscle and tubule. J Ultrastruct Res 23: 304–320,1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Farquhar MG: Palade CE: Junctional complexes in various epithelia. J Cell Biol 17: 375–412, 1963.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Berliner RW, Levinsky NG, Davidson DG, Eden M: Dilution and concentration of the urine and the action of antidiuretic hormone. Am J Med 24, 730–744, 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cesare De Martino
  • Delmas J. Allen
  • Lidia Accinni

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations