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J Morphol. 2000 Sep;245(3):177-95.

Morphology of the kidney in larvae of Bufo viridis (Amphibia, Anura, Bufonidae).

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1
August Krogh Institute, Department of Zoophysiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. nmobjerg@aki.ku.dk

Abstract

This study deals primarily with the morphology and ultrastructure of the pronephros in the green toad Bufo viridis during prometamorphosis when the pronephros and the developing mesonephros function simultaneously. Furthermore, the mesonephros was studied during pro- and postmetamorphosis with emphasis on the distal segments of the nephron. The paired kidneys consist of two cranial pronephroi immediately behind the gill region and two more caudal elongated mesonephroi. Each pronephros consists of a single convoluted tubule which opens into the coelom via three nephrostomes. This tubule is divided into three ciliated tubules, three proximal tubule branches, a common proximal tubule and a distal tubule, which in turn continues into the nephric duct. No intermediate segment is present. The length of the pronephric tubule is 12 mm, including the three branches of the ciliated tubules and proximal tubules. Primary urine is formed upon filtration from an external glomerulus, which is a convoluted capillary lined by podocytes, a specialization of the coelomic epithelium. From the coelom the filtrate is swept into the ciliated tubules. In the collecting duct system of the developing mesonephric nephron epithelial cells with conspicuous, apical osmiophilic granules appear in larvae of 9-10 mm. Heterocellularity of mixed intercalated (mitochondria rich) cells and principal cells is observed in the collecting duct system and nephric duct from a larval body length of 14 mm. As the proliferation of mitochondria-rich cells proceeds, the osmiophilic granules disappear and are completely absent from the adult amphibian mesonephros.

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