Sei sulla pagina 1di 46



Histology Departement
August 2009

Urinary System:
System Kidney, urinary passages
Passages include:
Renal Pelvis
Accessory parts include:
Urinary bladder
Flattened, bean-shaped ~4.5 inches long
Capsule thin, fibrous, weakly attached (mostly collagenous fibers)
Interstitial C.T. scant; entirely reticular tissue
Hilus: slit-like orifice opens into expanded renal sinus,
sinus a flattened cavity
Renal sinus filled with: renal pelvis (expanded ureter); fat; C.T.;
blood vessels; nerves

Kidney cross-section

Renal Pelvis:
Subdivided into 2 or 3 major calyces
Major calyces (1) subdivide into 7 10 minor calyces (2)
Minor calyces fit over a renal papilla (3)


Kidney interior: largely parenchyma

Parenchyma: many long, tortuous secretory canals (nephrons)

Excretory ducts of nephrons discharge into minor calyces
Nephron + excretory duct = uriniferous tubule
Parenchyma divisible into Cortex & Medulla
Medulla (gray when fresh) composed of 10 15 renal
2 to 3 pyramids fuse: end in one papilla
i.e., 6 to 14 papillae / kidney (human)
Pyramids appear striate (tubules are straight)
Cortex ( brownish in life)
Inner border irregular
Over base of pyramid; between pyramids (Renal
columns of Bertin)

Nephron (Uriniferous Tubule) Kidney is a compound gland

Uriniferous tubule composed of two parts:
Nephron & Collecting tubule

The physiological unit of the kidney used for filtration of blood and
reabsorption and secretion of materials
Unbranched; 35 mm. long
Includes straight portions & convoluted portions
1,300,000 tubules each kidney
Collecting tubules
part of a branched, tree-like system of excretory ducts
tubules are straight
Length: 21 mm. (each)


Parts of the Uriniferous Tubule

Consecutive portions differ structurally & functionally
(proximal means near the glomerulus & distal means nearer the papilla)
The parts starting from the proximal end, taken in order:
Glomerular capsule of Bowman
Proximal Convoluted Tubule (including the
straight portion = thick, descending segment of
Thin segment of Henles loop
Thick, ascending segment of Henles loop
Distal Convoluted Tubule
The Excretory (= duct) Portion
Arched Collecting Tubule (= junctional tubule)
Straight Collecting Tubule
Papillary Duct of Bellini


Uriniferous tubule segment locations are constant (recognizable regions)

3 primary topographical regions in kidney
Cortical labyrinth
Cortical ray
In each region, 3 different tubular segments easily recognized (marked with
Cortical Labyrinth
Glomerular capsule of Bowman*
Proximal Convoluted Tubule*
Thick, ascending segment of Henles loop
Distal Convoluted Tubule*
Arched Collecting Duct

Cortical Ray
Straight portion of Proximal Convoluted Tubule*
Thick Ascending Segment of Henles Loop*
Straight Collecting Tubule*

Straight portion of Proximal Tubule (thick, descending
segment of Henles Loop)
Thin segment of Henles Loop*
Thick, ascending segment of Henles Loop*
Straight Collecting Tubule; Papillary Duct of Bellini*

Tubule Characteristics
Epithelium is specific to each segment (tubule)
Epithelium of excretory ducts is of one structural type
All rest on a basement membrane

Renal (Malpighian) Corpuscle

Spheroidal (0.2 mm. wide); Vascular glomerulus; Double-walled cup
(nearly surrounds glomerulus)
= rete mirabile
afferent arteriole enters, forms many loops (smaller bore)
efferent arteriole formed as loops unite; leaves glomerulus
afferent & efferent arterioles enter & leave together at vascular

Renal Corpuscle


Endothelium thin
Tunica media of afferent arteriole modified near entry point
Smooth muscle cells large, pale staining, lack myofibrils
= a myo-epitheliod cuff, the juxtaglomerular cell
Juxtaglomerular cell closely associated with macula
densa of ascending limb

Juxtaglomerular apparatus:
Consists of JG cell, macula densa & mesangial cell (Lacis cell or Polkissen cell)
Functions in the regulation of blood pressure
Juxtaglomerular cells secrete renin which activates angiotensin II
(a vasoconstrictor)

Juxtaglomerular Apparatus

Glomerular Capsule
Bowmans Capsule an epithelial cup
Parietal (external) & visceral (internal) layer
both are simple squamous epithelium
cell boundaries; basement membrane - clear
Layers are continuous
Layers enclose space

Parietal & Visceral layers

Parietal layer

Visceral layer

Glomerulus & Sel Podosit

Renal Corpuscle and the Filtration


Neck very short segment of tubule!

Parietal layer opens into neck (urinary pole)
Rapid epithelial change: flat capsular cells rise to cuboidal then to
low columnar

Proximal Convoluted Tubule longest (14 mm.), broadest (60 ) tubule segment
Most of bulk of pars convoluta (cortex)
Remarkably contorted tubule!
Location: Immediate vicinity of renal corpuscle
Enters medullary (cortical) ray in ray to medulla
Straightens in ray (= straight portion of proximal tubule or thick
descending segment of Henles loop)
Cells are low columnar
Cell limits indistinct
Nuclei: large, pale, spheroidal 3 to 4 show in
transverse section
Free surface: brush border resorpitive function

Thin Segment of Henles Loop

Location: boundary zone of medulla
Sharp transition from thick proximal tubule: reduced to 2 to 10 mm. long &
15 wide
Resembles a capillary but is larger & thicker walled
Short or long and recurved
If this part extends past apex of loop: makes sharp hair-pin bend
Interlocking cells squamous with pale cytoplasm
Brush border is absent
Microvilli present (can see on EM)
Nuclei flat, bulge into lumen
Collecting Duct

Thin Segment
Thick, descending limb

Apex of Henles Loop:

A very sharp bend
If loop is deep into medulla a long thin limb makes loop
If loop is high in medulla the thick ascending segment is involved

Thick Ascending Segment of Henles Loop:

Straight, radial tubule 9 mm. long & 30 wide
Abrupt transition from thin limb into cuboidal epithelium
Cells more deeply acidophilic than those of thin limb
Resemble cells of distal convoluted tubule
= straight portion of distal tubule

Distal Convoluted Tubule

Enters a ray ascends passing into labyrinth
Enclose to its glomerulus
In contact wit juxtaglomerular cell : macula
densa (cells taller, crowded, mass is elliptical)

Comparison of the tubule

Renal Pelvis Ureter Urinary Bladder

Minor calyx caps each renal pyramid (7 to 10)
Calyx is double walled cup
Inner wall continuous with papillary ducts
Several minor calyces open into each major calyx
Major calyces open into renal pelvis
Ureter connects renal pelvis to urinary bladder
Mucosa of these elements: Transitional epithelium
Calyx 2 to 3 layers of cells
Ureter 4 to 5 layers of cells
Urinary Bladder 6 to 8 layers of cells
Basement membrane not obvious

Lamina Propria thin fibers, mostly collagenous

No papillae
Diffuse lymphoid tissue & occasional solitary lymph
Submucosa vague or absent deeper layers are looser,
more elastic
laxity permits folding
Ureter has ~5 major and minor folds (stellate lumen)
Relaxed bladder mucosa thrown into thick, irregular

Muscularis 2 to 3 layers loosely arranged layer (not

Smooth muscle discrete bundles
Inner layer longitudinal
Next layer circular
Bladder have 3rd layer (outermost) longitudinal
Pelvis & calyces muscle is thin, largely circular (forms
sphincter around each papilla)
Adventitia fibrous external tunic; blends with adjacent C.T.

Urethra Female
Urethra = short duct, 1.5 inches long
From urinary bladder to outlet (in vestibule)

Near bladder = Transitional

Middle portion (most of urethra):
Pseudostratified to stratified columnar
Near outlet = stratified squamous

Nest of mucous cells can occur

Urethral glands (more numerous in males)
Basement membrane: inconspicuous
Lamina Propria:
Propria no papillae; is folded
longitudinally irregular lumen, crescent shaped

Deep stratum rich in elastic fibers & veins (?)
Layer may really be part of Lamina Propria
Veins plexus of prominent, thin-walled vessels
Spongy, semi-erectile tissue
Thick coat of smooth muscle
Inner layer: longitudinal
Outer layer: circular; forms internal involuntarysphincter
near bladder
Skeletal muscle exterior to smooth muscle = voluntary
muscle Constrictor Urethrae

indefinite coat (fuses to surrounding structures)
Dorsally merges with fibrous coat of vagina
Other areas fuses to constrictor urethrae muscle

Urethra Male
Tube ~8 inches long; stem only homologous to female urethra
Three regional segments:
Prostatic urethra:
urethra next to bladder (1.5 inches long)
elevated urethral crest (posterior wall)
prostatic utricle & paired ejaculatory duct open on
surrounded by prostate gland
Membranous urethra:
urethra prostate to penis (0.5 inches
surrounded by muscles; components of urogenital
Cavernous urethra:
urethra 6 inches through penis

Epithelium varies regionally
Transitional near bladder
Most of urethra is stratified columnar or
Near meatus: stratified squamous
Epithelium on thin basement membrane
Lamina Propria: resembles female L.P.
branching mucous tubules (= Urethral Glands
of Littr)
ducts with intra-epithelial nest of mucous cells
open into recesses of lumen

Not distinguishable as such
Like -- deeper layer with many veins

largely confined to prostatic & membranous segments
inner layer (smooth muscle) longitudinal
outer layer (smooth muscle) circular
best developed at bladder neck forms sphincter
cavernous segment lacks smooth muscle layers
longitudinal muscle in true erectile tissue

No typical adventitia present
Prostatic urethra surrounded by prostate gland
Membranous urethra encircled by sphincter of
skeletal muscle
Cavernous urethra surrounded by erectile tissue &
dense outer sheath (neither belong to urethra)

The Histology of the Organs that Collect

and Transport Urine

Figure 26.20a

Basic Histology : Junqueira ed.11
Human Histology
Biology of Cell and Introduction to