Ultrastructure of the Aging Kidney

  • Warren Kline Bolton
  • Benjamin C. Sturgill


Man’s aging organs play essential roles in dictating longevity, or lack thereof, of his physical and mental processes. Not the least of these organs are the kidneys, which receive much attention in pathologic states in young and middle life, but little notice in senescence. Gross studies indicate that overall kidney size, weight, amount of cortex, and number of glomeruli decrease with age, although this is variable, while light microscopic examinations reveal numerous alterations including nephron obsolescence, vascular sclerosis, interstitial fibrosis, basement membrane thickening, and various types of histologic degeneration (Dunnill and Halley, 1973; Darmady et al., 1973; McLachlan, 1978; Mclachlan et al., 1977). These changes of aging are associated with a decline of glomerular filtration rate and various types of tubular dysfunction (Friedman et al., 1972; Korenchevsky, 1961; Epstein, 1979; Papper, 1973). Although gross, anatomic, light microscopic, and functional studies in the aging kidney may be few, they are plentiful in relationship to ultrastructural studies of the kidney in aging man.


Glomerular Basement Membrane Mesangial Matrix Short Arrow Lamina Densa Tubular Basement Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren Kline Bolton
    • 1
  • Benjamin C. Sturgill
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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