Figure 65

Peritubular interstitium in the cortex at the interface of a tubule (T) on the left and a capillary (C) on the right. The inset shows the same space in cross section, including the basement membrane (BM) of the two compartments. The extracellular loose matrix is a hydrated gelatinous substance consisting of glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid, heparan sulfate, dermatan sulfate, and chondroitin sulfate) that are embedded within a fibrillar reticulum. This reticulum consists of collagen fibers (types I, III, and VI) and unbanded microfilaments. Collagen types IV and V are the principal components of the basement membrane lining the tubules. Glycoprotein components (fibronectin and laminin) of the basement membrane connect it to the interstitial cell membranes and to the fibrillar structures of the interstitial matrix. The relative increase in the interstitial matrix of the medulla may be important for providing support to the delicate tubular and vascular structures in this region. (From Lemley and Kriz [2]; with permission.)

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