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Kidney Int. 1983 Jun;23(6):794-806.

Hydronephrosis: a new method to visualize vas afferens, efferens, and glomerular network.


We have developed a new preparation for in vivo visualization of the glomerular microcirculation, the vas afferens and the vas efferens. This preparation utilizes postischemic hydronephrosis (PIH) to destroy the renal tubular system while preserving a portion of the cortex. In this preparation, glomeruli and associated vasculature remained intact. Observations can be made with either incident light or transillumination. The inner diameter of the vas afferens, measured within 50 microns of the glomerular vascular pole, was 7.9 +/- 0.5 microns (N = 12; SEM) while that of the vas efferens was 7.7 +/- 0.5 microns (N = 12). Both vessels were narrower adjacent to the glomerulus; minimal diameters in this region were 4.5 +/- 0.5 microns (N = 10) and 4.3 +/- 0.5 microns (N = 11), respectively. A specialized round cell, which may act as a sphincter, was seen in the vas efferens. In a second series of experiments, blood velocity was measured in the vas afferens and efferens about 100 microns from the vascular pole. Mean control velocities at these sites were 5.9 +/- 0.9 (N = 14) and 4.6 +/- 1.3 (N = 9) mm X sec-1, respectively; diameters at these same sites were 10.3 +/- 0.6 microns and 11.2 +/- 0.7. During angiotensin II infusion (first series, 0.2 to 0.4 micrograms X min-1 X kg-1, i.v.) the vas efferens in the vicinity of the glomerulus constricted by 22% whereas the corresponding vas afferens showed no consistent response. During angiotensin II infusion, the filtration fraction (GFR/RPF) may, therefore, be elevated by an increased resistance in the vas efferens, particularly at the outflow point of the glomerulus. In the second series of experiments higher dosages of angiotensin II caused vasoconstriction of both vessels, especially at sites more distant from the glomerulus. Furthermore, the new approach is suitable for observing the flow direction within single capillaries of one third to one half of the glomerulus. Therefore, for the first time it is possible to determine the real flow direction in a three-dimensional way.

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