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Am J Physiol. 1985 Dec;249(6 Pt 2):F898-902.

Erythrocyte flow and dynamic hematocrit in the renal papilla of the rat.


The microcirculation of the renal papilla was investigated in 32 vasa recta of Wistar rats. Using fluorescence microscopy in combination with a high-sensitivity television system we measured the velocity and flux of fluorescent-tagged erythrocytes in descending (DVR) and ascending vasa recta (AVR). After staining the plasma with fluorescent high molecular weight dextran we determined the diameters of DVR and AVR. Red cell flux (Qrbc) was determined from the ratio of the frequency of fluorescent-tagged red cells detected per unit time (fFITC) to the number of fluorescent-tagged red cells per nanoliter packed red cells (NFITC). From red cell velocity (Vrbc) and vessel diameter (D) we calculated the volume flow (Vapp). The dynamic hematocrit was directly derived as the ratio of Qrbc to Vapp. During antidiuresis Vrbc was 1.35 +/- 0.15 mm X s-1 (mean +/- SE) in DVR and 0.47 +/- 0.07 mm X s-1 in AVR. Qrbc in the same vessels averaged 3.26 +/- 0.9 and 1.72 +/- 0.35 nl X min-1, respectively. The diameter in DVR was 14.3 +/- 0.9 and in AVR 17.9 +/- 0.9 micron. From these values we calculated a dynamic hematocrit of 26 +/- 4 in DVR and 25 +/- 4% in AVR. The systemic hematocrit was 44 +/- 1%. The dynamic hematocrit in vasa recta represented 59 +/- 9 and 57 +/- 8% of the value in the systemic circulation, respectively.

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