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Cell Tissue Res. 1980;212(2):241-55.

A study of scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy of the glomerular capillaries in developing rat kidney.


Kidneys of 2 to 10 day-old rats of Wistar and Sprague-Dawley strains were fixed with glutaraldehyde by retrograde vascular perfusion and then prepared for observation in TEM and SEM. In addition methacrylate casts of differentiating glomerular capillaries were examined by SEM. Although the glomerular vascular pattern differs from one glomerulus to another, its differentiation proceeds according to the following general plan. First the glomerular capillary splits longitudinally, finally to form 3 to 5 lobules consisting of a capillary network, sustained centrally by the mesangium. In the present study the differentiation of glomerular capillaries is described in five successive arbitrarily selected stages. At Stage I a capilllary loop penetrates between the lower limb and the middle segment of the S-shaped body, the rudimentary nephron. At Stage II the capillary undergoes a first subdivision, establishing the primitive lobulation of the glomerulus. At Stage III the vascular and urinary poles differentiate. At Stage IV the glomerulus assumes the aspect of a spherical body, and the capillaries in each lobule undergo subdivision. In Stage V the glomerular vascular pattern approaches its adult appearance, although the maturation processes continue for an extended period of time. Hence in the 10 day-old rat the best-differentiated glomeruli are half the size of adult glomeruli, and their capillary loops are proportionally less well-developed. The capillaries of adjacent lobules may communicate with each other, but a direct vascular shunt between the afferent and efferent vessels cannot be demonstrated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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