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functions of the urinary system

1. regulating plasma concentrations of ions;
2. regulating blood volume and pressure by adjusting the volume of water los and releasing erythropoietin and renin;
3. helping stabilize blood ph;
4. conserving nutrients;
5. eliminating organic wastes;
6. synthesizing calcitriol

contents of the urinary system

kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra

how is the position of the kidneys maintained in the abdominal cavity?

1. overlying peritoneum; (but is retroperitoneal organ)
2. contact with adjacent visceral organs;
3. supporting connective tissues

three concentric layers of connective tissue in the kidneys?

renal capsule, adipose capsule, renal fascia (most outer)

covers outer portion of kidney
helps keep shape

renal capsule

what surrounds the renal capsule?

adipose capsule

what does the renal fascia do?

anchors the kidney to ab wall

what is attached to the hilus of the kidney?

the ureter and renal blood vessels

divisions of the kidney

outer renal cortex, central renal medulla,


cortex + pyramids
contain nephrons

what are renal columns composed of?


what do renal columns do?

separate adjacent pyramids

what does the renal lobe contain?

1. renal pyramid; 2. overlying area of renal cortex; 3. adjacent tissues of the renal columns

what is the renal sinus continuous with?


what does the vasculature of the kidneys include?

renal, segmental, interlobar, arcuate, and interlobular arteries to the afferent arteries that supply the nephrons

how does the blood flow in the kidneys?

from the nephron, into the interlobular, arcuate, interlobar, and renal veins

what innervates the kidneys and the ureters?

renal nerves

what does sympathetic activation do to kidneys?

regulates glomerular blood flow and pressure, stimulates renin release, and accelerates sodium ion and water reabsorption

what is the basic functional unit of the kidney?

the nephron

what does the nephron consist of?

1. renal corpuscle - plasma filtered via glomerulus and Bowman's capsule
2. renal tubule - prox convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule

where does tubular fluid travel from the renal corpuscle?

through the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT), the loop of Henle (nephron loop) and the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) then through the connecting tubule, collecting duct, and papillary duct to reach the renal minor calyx

cortical nephrons

short loops of Henle that dives into r. medulla

juxtamedullary nephrons

long loops of Henle extending deep into medlla
allow kidney to excrete more diluted or concentrated urine

what do the efferent arteriole provide blood to?

the peritubular capillaries

what do peritubular capillaries surround?

renal tubules

what are nephrons responsible for?

1. Glomerular filtration (filtrate to cappillaries in g. capsule to renel tubule
2. Tubular reabsorption of organic nutrients, water, ions
3. Tubular Secretion

what does the renal corpuscle contain?

capillary knot of the glomerulus and Bowman's capsule

what is another name for Bowman's capsule?

glomerular capsule

what happens at the glomerulus?

podocytes of visceral epithelium wrap their feet around the capillaries

what are pedicels of the podocytes separated by?

narrow filtration slits

what does the capsular space separate?

the parietal and visceral epithelia

notable characteristic of lamina densa of basal lamina?

it is unusually thick

how does blood arrive at the vascular pole of the renal corpuscle?

via the afferent arteriole

how does blood depart from the vascular pole of the renal corpuscle?

in the efferent arteriole

where does blood go from the efferent arteriole?

enters the peritubular capillaries and the vesa recta that follow the loops of Henle in the medulla

which convoluted tubule contains the most microvilli

proximal convoluted tubule (PCT)

function of PCT

actively reabsorbs nutrients, ions, plasma proteins, and electrolytes from the tubular fluid

what do the limbs of loop of Henle contain?

thick segment and thin segment

what does the loop of Henle's descending limb do?

delivers fluid to the distal convoluted tubule (DCT)

what is passively transported out of the ascending limb of the loop of Henle?

sodium ions

what does reabsorption in the PCT and loop of Henle reclaim?

all of the organic nutrients, 85% of the water, and more than 90% of the Na and Cl ions

distal convoluted tubule is an important site for what?

1. active secretion of ions, acids, and other materials;
2. reabsorption of sodium ions;
3. adjusting osmotic concentration and balance

what is juxtaglomerular appartaus composed of?

macula densa, juxtaglomerular cells, extraglomerular mesangial cells

what does juxtaglomerular apparatus secrete?

the hormones renin and erythropoietin

what does the DCT open into?

the collecting system

what does the collecting system consist of?

connecting tubules, collecting ducts, papillary ducts

functions of collecting system?

1. transports fluid from the nephron to the renal pelvis; 2. adjusts the osmotic concentrations and volume

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