Kidney, Normal Histology
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The kidneys are paired, bean-shaped organs located in the retroperitoneum.
Kidneys filter blood in a three-step process: (1) the nephrons filter blood through the capillary network in the glomerulus (glomerular filtration); (2) the filtrate is collected in the renal tubules (tubular reabsorption); and (3) additional solutes and wastes are secreted into the kidney tubules (tubular secretion).
Juxtaglomerular cells are specialized cells located within the afferent arterioles of the kidney which produce renin to control blood pressure.
Size and Weight
Adult kidneys average 150 g and are approximately 12 cm long, 6 cm wide, and 3 cm thick.
Each kidney consists of an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The medulla has roughly 12 pyramids, with their bases at the corticomedullary junction. A medullary pyramid and its overlying cortex constitute a renal lobe.