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J Ultrastruct Res. 1985 Sep;92(3):146-57.

Innervation of the late distal nephron: an autoradiographic and ultrastructural study.


A study of the monoaminergic innervation of the cortical distal nephron beyond the thick ascending limb of Henle (TALH) was carried out by surveying nine autoradiograms, from three rats injected with exogenous tritiated norepinephrine, for overlapping of the tubule by accumulations of autoradiographic grains (AAGs). The largest number of the AAGs appeared on the late distal convoluted tubule-connecting tubule (LDCT-CNT) portion and the vast majority of the AAGs were related to the afferent arteriole. The distal convoluted tubule (DCT) and cortical collecting duct (CCD) showed half of their AAGs related to the efferent arterioles and capillary-interstitium although a substantial amount was associated with the afferent arterioles or arteries. Electron microscopy of reembedded autoradiograms demonstrated the presence of neuroeffector junctions with the CNT and CCD at sites of AAG overlap. The presence of adrenoceptors in the late distal nephron suggests the possibility of a local response of the nephron to the action of the adrenergic nerves shown in this study.

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