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HISTOLOGY OF THE URINARY

SYSTEM
Prof. Dr. Fauziah Othman
Department of Human Anatomy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Contents
Kidney
* Parts of nephron and structures
Juxtaglomerular apparatus
Functional aspects
Blood circulation
Ureter and urinary bladder
General features
Urinary epithelium Urethra
* Structure of male and female urethra

Kidney

Main organ of the excretory system

Kidney is built of billions of little tubes called


the nephrons.
At the beginning of each nephron, a web of
capillaries releases much water and other
molecules into the nephron.

The urine is collected in the urinary bladder


and, when it fills up, it is excreted via urethra
into the outside environment.

Kidney's Internal Structure


Cortex -- the outer part of the kidney;
Medulla -- the inner portion of the kidney;
Pyramids -- the triangular-shaped divisions of
the medulla of the kidney;
Papilla -- narrow, innermost tip of the pyramid;
Pelvis -- the kidney or renal pelvis is an
extension of the upper end of the ureter (the
tube that drains urine into the bladder);
Calyx -- each calyx is a division of the renal
pelvis; opening into each calyx is the papilla of
a pyramid.

n
o
r
h
p
Ne

basic structural and functional unit of


the kidney.
Its chief function is to regulate the
concentration of water and soluble
substances like sodium salts by filtering
the blood, reabsorbing what is needed
and excreting the rest as urine.

A nephron eliminates wastes from the


body, regulates blood volume and blood
pressure, controls levels of electrolytes
and metabolites, and regulates blood
pH. Its functions are vital to life and are
regulated by the endocrine system by
hormones such as antidiuretic hormone,
aldosterone, and parathyroid hormone.

microscopic units of a kidney, have 2 main


parts,
1.
2.

renal corpuscle (Bowman's capsule with


glomerulus)
renal tubule.

RENAL CORPUSCLE

glomeruli surrounded by Bowman's capsules.

Bowman's capsule -- the cup-shaped top of


a nephron. It is the sack-like Bowmans's
capsule that surrounds the glomerulus.

Glomerulus -- a network of blood capillaries


tucked into Bowman's capsule.

Juxtaglomerular apparatus

The juxtaglomerular apparatus is a


microscopic structure in the kidney, which
regulates the function of each nephron.

There are three cellular components of the


apparatus which are the;
1.
2.
3.

macula densa,
extraglomerular mesangial cells,
juxtaglomerular cells (also known as granular
cells).

RENAL TUBULE

Proximal convoluted tubule -- the first segment of


a renal tubule, called proximal because it lies
nearest the tubule's origin from Bowman's
capsule, and convoluted because it has several
bends in it.

Loop of Henle -- the extension of the proximal


tubule; observe that the loop of Henle consists of
a straight descending (directed downward) limb, a
loop, and a straight ascending limb (directed
upwards).

Cont.

Distal convoluted tubule -- the part of the


tubule distal to the ascending limb of Henle. It
is the extension of the ascending limb of
Henle.

Collecting tubule -- a straight (not convoluted)


part of a renal tubule; distal tubules of several
nephrons join to form a single collecting
tubule

Histology Bowman's capsule

Cells of the outer or parietal layer of Bowman's capsule form a simple


squamous epithelium.

Cells of the inner layer, podocytes in the visceral layer, are extremely
complex in shape. Small foot-like processes, pedicles, of their cytoplasm
form a fenestrated epithelium around the fenestrated capillaries of the
glomerulus.

The openings between the pedicles are called filtration slits. They are
spanned by a thin membrane, the filtration slit membrane. Between the
podocytes and the endothelial cells of the capillaries a comparatively
thick basal lamina, which can be subdivided into an outer lamina
externa, a middle lamina densa and an inner lamina interna.

The basal lamina and the slit membranes form the glomerular filtration
barrier, which prevents some large molecules from entering the
capsular space between the outer and inner epithelial layers of
Bowman's capsule.

Mesangial cells in the glomerulus form the connective tissue that gives
structural support to podocytes and vessels.

Histo: proximal tubule

walls - low columnar epithelium.


The eosinophilic cells of the epithelium have a
wide brush border and are active in
endocytosis.

Histo of Loop of Henle

It is 'U' shaped and has descending and


ascending segments.
Thin descending segment has flattened
epithelium( squamous). It is permeable to
water but not solutes.

Histo: Distal convoluted tubule

straight part of the DCT is formed by the low


cuboidal cells without a brush border. The
diameter of the tubule gradually expands to
about 35 microns.

convoluted part and comes in contact with the


Glomerulus forming the Macula Densa.

Nephron structure

characteristic

Renal corpusle

Capillary ball covered by


podocyte & surrounded by simple
squamous epithelial capsule,
capsular space.

Proximal convulated

Lined with simple cubodial


epithelium & prominent brush
border

Loop of Henle

Tubule that form a loop, there are


thick & thin ascending &
desecnding portion; the most
distal part of the loop often
extends into the medulla.
Thick limb are lined with simple
squamous/ cuboidal epithelium
Thin limb are lined with simple
squamous epithelium

Distal convulated

Lined with simple cuboidal with


only sparse brush border;
cytoplasm of cells tend to be

Ureter
The wall of the ureter is made 3 layers. From
inside outwards
they are :
1.
Mucosa- which is made up of epithelium &
lamina propria
2.
Muscular coat made of smooth
muscles
3.
Fibrosa made of fibrous connective
tissue
Mucosa- is thrown into folds and thus gives the
appearance of star shaped lumen.

1. Transitional epithelium. 3-5


layers
thickness.
2. Lamina propria- dense, irregular layer of
fibroelastic
connective tissue

The epithelium is separated from the lamina


propria by a basal lamina.

Muscular layer Upper 2/3 of the ureter is


made of two layers of smooth muscle cells.

Inner longitudinal and outer circular layer( in


contrast to the wall of GIT which has inner circular
& outer longitudinal !).
Lower 1/3 of the ureter has a third outer layer of
longitudinal muscles( inner longitudinal, middle
circular, outer loingitudinal ).

Fibrous coat is made up of fibrous


connective tissue

The urethra:

Female: relatively short, exits just anterior to


the vagina

Male: longer, divided into three sections the


prostatic, membranous and spongy urethra.
The prostatic urethra is enclosed in the prostate
gland. The membranous urethra is a short
section
that
penetrates
the
urogenital
diaphragm. The spongy urethra or penile
urethra extends from the membranous urethra
to the external urethral orifice (meatus).

Histology: In both male and females the


urethra starts out as transitional cell but
quickly becomes stratified squamous in the
female.

The male urethra is more variable but ends up


stratified squamous as well.

Histology of the bladder


mucosa of transitional epithelium, Submucosa,
and thick muscular layer know as the detrusor
muscle

Clinical correlates

Urinary incontinence

Childbirth and other events can injure the scaffolding


that helps support the bladder in women. Pelvic floor
muscles, the vagina, and ligaments support your
bladder.

Specifically,
the symptoms
of overactive bladder include
Overactive
bladder
urinary frequencybothersome urination eight or more times a day
or two or more times at night
urinary urgencythe sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
urge incontinenceleakage or gushing of urine that follows a sudden,
strong urge
nocturiaawaking at night to urinate