PMID: 9502381Mar 21, 1998Paper

Normal ultrastructure of the kidney and lower urinary tract

Toxicologic Pathology
J W Verlander


The mammalian urinary tract includes the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra. The renal parenchyma is composed of the glomeruli and a heterogeneous array of tubule segments that are specialized in both function and structure and are arranged in a specific spatial distribution. The ultrastructure of the glomeruli and renal tubule epithelia have been well characterized and the relationship between the cellular structure and the function of the various components of the kidney have been the subject of intense study by many investigators. The lower urinary tract, the ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra, which are histologically similar throughout, are composed of a mucosal layer lined by transitional epithelium, a tunica muscularis, and a tunica serosa or adventitia. The present manuscript reviews the normal ultrastructural morphology of the kidney and the lower urinary tract. The normal ultrastructure is illustrated using transmission electron microscopy of normal rat kidney and urinary bladder preserved by in vivo perfusion with glutaraldehyde fixative and processed in epoxy resin.


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