The Urothelium: Life in a Liquid Environment.

Physiological Reviews
Marianela G DalghiGerard Apodaca


The urothelium, which lines the renal pelvis, ureters, urinary bladder, and proximal urethra, forms a high-resistance but adaptable barrier that surveils its mechanochemical environment and communicates changes to underlying tissues including afferent nerve fibers and the smooth muscle. The goal of this review is to summarize new insights into urothelial biology and function that have occurred in the past decade. After familiarizing the reader with key aspects of urothelial histology, we describe new insights into urothelial development and regeneration. This is followed by an extended discussion of urothelial barrier function, including information about the roles of the glycocalyx, ion and water transport, tight junctions, and the cellular and tissue shape changes and other adaptations that accompany expansion and contraction of the lower urinary tract. We also explore evidence that the urothelium can alter the water and solute composition of urine during normal physiology and in response to overdistension. We complete the review by providing an overview of our current knowledge about the urothelial environment, discussing the sensor and transducer functions of the urothelium, exploring the role of circadian rhythms in urothe...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

transmission electron microscopy
scanning electron microscopy
atomic force microscopy
electron microscopy
urine storage

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