Anatomy of the renal pelvis in the hamster

Authors

  • Eric R. Lacy,

    1. Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salsbury Cove, Maine 04672
    Current affiliation:
    1. Abteilung Elektronmikroskopie Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, West Germany
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  • Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen

    Corresponding author
    1. Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salsbury Cove, Maine 04672
    • Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salsbury Cove, Maine 04672
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Abstract

The hamster renal pelvis has been studied by means of low-power light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and morphometric analyses. The results of this study are highly suggestive that the contact of pelvic urine with the other medulla as well as with the inner medulla may be an important aspect of final urine formation. The outer medulla constituted nearly 50% of the total pelvic surface area, with the inner stripe of the outer medulla more than twice the pelvic surface area of the outer stripe of the outer medulla. The large outer medullary pelvic surface area was accounted for by the elaboration of the upper pelvic walls into peripelvic columns, opercula (“secondary pyramids”), fornices and secondary pouches. A thin simple-squamous to low cuboidal pelvic epithelium separated pelvic urine from outer medullary parenchyma. The inner medulla which constituted about one quarter of the total pelvic surface area was covered by a cuboidal to columnar pelvic epithelium which appeared morphologically similar to the papillary collecting duct epithelium. Tubules and capillaries of the inner medulla did not appear as closely juxtaposed to the pelvic epithelium as did those of the outer medulla. Cortical tissue comprised only 11.7% of the total pelvic surface area and was covered by transitional epithelium similar to that of ureter and bladder. The previously reported impermeability of this epithelium suggests that pelvic urine contact with the cortex is unimportant in final urine formation. The rich layer of smooth muscle under the transitional epithelium probably functions to move urine into and out of the pelvis during pelvic peristalsis, which has been observed in vivo.

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