Kidney nontumor
Tubules and interstitium

Topic Completed: 2 April 2012

Minor changes: 1 October 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Kidney tubules and interstitium [title]

Nikhil Sangle, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 713
Page views in 2020 to date: 276
Cite this page: Sangle N. Tubules and interstitium. website. Accessed May 29th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Juxtaglomerular apparatus: close to glomerulus where afferent arteriole enters it; consists of juxtaglomerular cells (modified smooth muscle cells) plus macula densa (region of distal tubule as it returns to vascular pole of parent glomeruli) plus lacis or Goormaghtigh cells (nongranular cells that reside near afferent arteriole, macula densa and glomerulus and resemble mesangial cells); produces renin; cells of macula densa show reverse polarity (with abluminal nuclei and basal cytoplasmic clearing due to Golgi apparatus) to direct the synthesized molecules towards the glomerulus
  • Interstitium: contains fibroblast-like cells and peritubular capillaries; expands due to edema and inflammation
  • Medullary rays: in cortex, contain cortical collecting tubules and loops of Henle of superficial nephrons
  • Proximal tubules: long microvilli, numerous mitochondria and extensive intercellular interdigitations assist in reabsorption of sodium, water, proteins, glucose, potassium, phosphate and amino acids; vulnerable to toxins and ischemic damage
  • Renal columns of Bertin: cortical tissue extending into spaces between pyramids
Diagrams / tables

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Juxtaglomerular apparatus

Renal column

Vessels supplying tubule

Vessels surrounding glomeruli and tubules

Gross images

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Renal column

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Collecting duct: brush border

Juxtaglomerular apparatus and macula densa

Medullary rays

Cytology images

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Glomeruli (1A), tubules (1B)

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