American Urological Association - Kidney: Renal Corpuscle (Glomerulus)

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Kidney: Renal Corpuscle (Glomerulus)

Image A

Image B

  • The nephron is composed of renal corpuscle and renal tubule and is the functional unit of the kidney.
  • The renal corpuscle consists of Bowman's capsule and glomerular capillaries, responsible for plasma filtration (image A) & (image B).
  • Glomerulus
    • Network of capillaries that invaginate into Bowman's capsule.
    • Lined by endothelial cells and supported by a basement membrane and covered by the visceral layer of Bowman's capsule.
  • Bowman's capsule
    • Forms the distended end of the renal tubule.
    • Contains a visceral layer of epithelial cells (podocytes) that is reflected at the vascular stalk of the glomerulus to become continuous with the parietal layer.
  • Bowman's space
    • Urinary space; cavity between the parietal and visceral layers.
  • Mesangium
    • Functions as structural support for the capillary loop and contains specialized intraglomerular pericytes (mesangial cells).

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