The countercurrent principle has been found to be operating in a variety of special designs and for very different purposes throughout the vertebrate kingdom. In the teleost fish the rete mirabile is capable of creating or at least preserving an appropriate gas pressure in the swimbladder, which in some deep sea fish may amount to several hundreds of atmospheres. In warm blooded animals—birds and mammals, including man—the countercurrent exchange of heat is used for the conservation of normal body temperature in a cold environment. Considering the time limitation, I shall restrict myself to some aspects of the countercurrent multiplier system of the mammalian kidney.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich Wirz
    • 1
  1. 1.J. R. Geigy AG.BaselSwitzerland

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