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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 12 - Urinary System

Plate 12.236 Kidney: Cortex

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 12.236 Kidney: Cortex

Rhesus monkey, Zenker's fluid, Mallory's stain, 612 x.


Bowman's capsule: Squamous epithelium forming a double-walled cup surrounding the glomerular capillaries. The portion of the wall applied to the capillaries is termed the visceral epithelium and can be seen in Plate 235. The visceral epithelium is separated from the outer wall by Bowman's space (Plate 234). The outer wall is continuous with the proximal tubule, and Bowman's space is continuous with the lumen of the proximal tubule at the urinary pole of the capsule.

Vascular pole: The point of entry of the afferent arteriole into Bowman's capsule. The arteriole immediately forms the tuft of glomerular capillaries and the point of origin of the efferent arteriole from glomerular capillaries, which leaves Bowman's capsule.

Afferent arteriole: Carries blood to the glomerular capillaries.

Efferent arteriole: The arterial vessel that carries blood away from the glomerular capillaries. Uniquely, in the kidney, a capillary bed is interposed between arterial vessels. The efferent arteriole leads to the cortical intertubular capillary network (see Plate 233).

Juxtaglomerular cells: Myoepithelioid cells replace typical smooth fibers in the wall of the afferent arteriole as it approaches the glomerulus. These cells secrete a hypertensive factor, renin. See also Plates 237 and 238.

Proximal tubule: Single layer of cuboidal cells with an irregular brush border.

Distal tubule: Cuboidal cells without a brush border, which stain less intensely than the proximal tubule cells.

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