Maturation of the glomerular visceral epithelium and capillary endothelium in the puppy kidney

Don A. Hay, Andrew P. Evan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The present study describes the development and maturation of the glomerular visceral epithelium and capillary endothelium in an attempt to clarify kidney function in the neonate. The puppy kidney undergoes nephrogenesis for at least two weeks after birth, and thus possesses nephrons of different ages and levels of maturation. Since nephron development varies considerably from inner to outer cortex, renal corpuscles were examined within three arbitrary zones (outer, middle and inner cortex). The visceral epithelium of the smallest glomeruli, i.e., those of the outer cortex, is composed of cuboidal cells which are densely clustered and rests directly upon the limited number of small capillaries. More deeply within the outer cortex, broad, flat epithelial processes extend around the capillary, but lack any visible pedicels. Mid cortical glomerular capillaries undergo an increase in diameter and length, and at the same time the podocytes flatten and separate from one another. Pedicels begin to appear in this zone as thickened, disorganized processes. Juxtamedullary glomeruli are the largest, due primarily to their extensive capillary branching (looping). Podocytes are nearly adult‐like in appearance, with many long primary processes and pedicels. The endothelial morphology of glomerular capillaries varies from one loop to another, as well as within a single loop. The immature endothelium of outer glomeruli is initially characterized by extensive expanses lacking pores, multiple cellular layers and small, scattered pinholes. Greater capillary maturity is apparent in the mid cortex, due to an increase in pore number and diameter as well as greater attenuation of endothelial cells. However, evidence of remodeling and a lack of pores still exists in some capillaries. The glomerular capillaries of the inner cortex appear the most mature, but possess regions that are still immature when compared to the adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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