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Organ system histology
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Kidneys are large, bean-shaped organs that are approximately 12 cm long, 6 cm wide, and 3 cm thick in adults.
The kidneys perform a lot of different functions, such as the excretion and removal of metabolic waste and foreign substances through urine.
The kidneys also secrete important hormones, such as erythropoietin, which increases the production of red blood cells.
The medial border of each kidney has a concave area called the hilum. This is where the ureter exits the kidney and renal artery, renal vein, and lymph vessels enter and exit the kidney.
The medulla is organized into cone-like structures called renal pyramids and renal columns in between the pyramids, which are extensions of the renal cortex.
Each nephron starts with a renal corpuscle, which is a spherical structure in the cortex that has a diameter of about 200 um.
The corpuscle consists of the glomerulus as well as the surrounding double-layered epithelial capsule called the glomerular or Bowman’s capsule.
The glomerulus is a bundle or tuft of capillaries that supplies the blood that’s filtered to become a fluid called the glomerular filtrate or ultrafiltrate, which typically contains no blood cells or large proteins.
The ultrafiltrate initially drains into the capsular or Bowman’s space, which is actually the space in between the two layers that make up Bowman’s capsule.
The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine, below the ribcage. The functions of the kidneys are to remove waste products and excess water from the blood, to regulate blood pressure, and to produce erythropoietin (EPO), which helps to produce red blood cells.
The functional tissue of the kidney, or parenchyma, has an outer renal cortex and inner renal medulla. The medulla is organized into cone-like structures called renal pyramids and renal columns in between the pyramids, which are extensions of the renal cortex. At the junction between the cortex and medulla are millions of functional units called nephrons. Each nephron can be divided into its major parts: The renal corpuscle, proximal convoluted tubule, the loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule, and collecting duct.
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