PubMed 24305474

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.3

Title: Spatial organization of the vascular bundle and the interbundle region: three-dimensional reconstruction at the inner stripe of the outer medulla in the mouse kidney.

Authors: Hao Ren, Ling Gu, Arne Andreasen, Jesper S Thomsen, Liu Cao, Erik I Christensen, Xiao-Yue Zhai

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol., 2014 Feb 1 , 306, F321-6

PubMed link:

The vascular bundle (VB) is a complex structure that resides in the inner stripe of the outer medulla. At present, the tubulovascular spatial organization of the VB, which is crucial for the formation of the osmolarity gradient and for solute transport, is still under debate. In this study, we used computer-assisted digital tracing combined with aquaporin-1 immunohistochemistry to reconstruct all tubules and vessels in the VB of the mouse kidney. We found, first, that the descending and ascending vasa recta travelled exclusively through the VB. The ascending vasa recta received no tributaries (no branches) along their entire path in the medulla and were not connected with the capillary plexus in the interbundle region. Second, a specific group of the descending vasa recta were closely accompanied by the longest ascending vasa recta, which connected only to the capillary plexus at the tip of the papilla. Third, the descending thin limbs of all short-looped nephrons travelled exclusively through the outer part of the VB. The loops of these nephrons (both descending and ascending parts) were distributed in a regular pattern based on their length. Finally, the thick ascending limbs of all long-looped nephrons were located at the margin of the VB (except a few within the VB), which formed a layer separating the VB from the interbundle region. In conclusion, our three-dimensional analysis of the VB strongly suggest a lateral osmolarity heterogeneity across the inner stripe of the outer medulla, which might work as a driving force for water and solute transport.