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Urinary Physiology - Final notes .doc

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BIOL 153
Paul Hewitt

Urinary SystemIntroductionDuring metabolism many unnecessary and even toxic substances accumulate in the body including excess sodium chloride sulfate hydrogen and nitrogenous wastes such as ureaThese waste products as well as some other toxic products which may have been introduced into the body are removed by the kidneysIn addition a number of hormones are secreted by the kidneys this in part accounts for the decreases seen in some hormone levels over timeFinally the kidneys are the main organ for regulating water balance in our bodiesBasic ConceptsIn the kidney tight junctions between cells will block passage of most solutes through the paracellular pathway Thus substances must travel through the cells themselves in order to pass across the tissue layer There are two possibilitieslipidsolublediffusion passively into the cell watersolublepores protein channels or carrier proteins are neededSome of the capillaries in the kidney are very porous fenestrated allowing fluid to leak outKidney tubules collect the fluid that has seeped out leaving only large proteins blood cells and platelets in the bloodAs blood passes through these tubules essential nutrients that the body can use are resorbed back into the blood via transport proteins leaving behind wastes and nonessential substancesPart of this process is also to balance water salt and acidbase levels in the bloodthe kidney can actively secrete excess levels of these substances that the body needs in certain amountsthe kidney plays a critical role in the regulation of blood volume as salt and water balance affects cardiac output and blood pressureKidney AnatomyKidney PhysiologyGlomerular Filtration This is a passive nonspecific process the renal corpuscle acts as a simple mechanical filter
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