Direct studies on the control of the renal microcirculation

Richard J. Roman, Pamela K. Carmines, Rodger Loutzenhiser, John D. Conger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Recent advances in videomicroscopy combined with the development of several innovative in vivo and in vitro preparations now allow for direct study of the renal microcirculation. Blood flow in vasa recta capillaries of the rat can be studied by using video-microscopy, and changes in the flow of red blood cells in the renal cortex and papilla can be continuously monitored by using laser-Doppler flowmetry. All elements of the renal microcirculation can be visualized with the in vitro perfused juxtamedullary nephron or hydronephrotic kidney preparations. Pressures, blood flows, and vascular diameters in individual vessels can be directly measured in these preparations. Renal arterioles can be microdissected from the kidneys of several species and cannulated and pressurized in vitro for the study of pressure-diameter relationships and vascular responses to different agonists. In addition, membrane potentials and intracellular ion concentrations can now be measured in isolated renal arterioles by using microelectrodes and fluorescence microscopy. Thus, it is possible to study the control of renal vascular tone at all levels of integration from signal transduction in isolated cells to direct analysis of the regulation of hemodynamics in different regions of the microcirculation of the kidney in intact animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Glomerulus
  • Kidney
  • Laser-Doppler flowmetry
  • Renal medulla
  • Vasa recta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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