A nephron, the vasa recta is labelled arteria recta
|Latin||arteriolae rectae renis|
|Arcuate arteries of the kidney, efferent arteriole|
|Straight venules of kidney, arcuate vein|
|Vasa recta renis|
- For the intestinal structure, see Vasa recta (intestines)
In the blood supply of the kidney, the vasa recta renis (or straight arteries of kidney, or straight arterioles of kidney) are a series of straight capillaries in the medulla (Latin: vasa, "vessels"; recta, "straight"). They lie parallel to the loop of Henle.
Each of the vasa recta has a hairpin turn in the medulla and carries blood at a very slow rate, two factors crucial in the maintenance of countercurrent exchange that prevent washout of the concentration gradients established in the renal medulla.
The maintenance of this concentration gradient is one of the components responsible for the kidney's ability to produce concentrated urine.
On the descending portion of the vasa recta, NaCl and urea are reabsorbed into the blood, while water is secreted. On the ascending portion of the vasa recta, NaCl and urea are secreted into the interstitium, while water is reabsorbed.
However, other sources consider "vasa recta renis" to refer to both the arterial and venous portions.
The "renis" is often omitted, but there do exist two other structures with the same name:
- vasa recta (intestines) (in the ileum and jejunum)
- the straight portion of the seminiferous tubule, though this is usually called the tubuli recti.
The slow blood flow in vasa recta makes them a likely location of thrombosis in hypercoagulable states, or tissue loss due to erythrocyte sickling in sickle cell disease. Ischemia that results may lead to renal papillary necrosis.
- Histology image:15802loa from Vaughan, Deborah (2002). A Learning System in Histology: CD-ROM and Guide. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195151732.
- Physiology at MCG 7/7ch08/7ch08p07
- Histology image:15804loa from Vaughan, Deborah (2002). A Learning System in Histology: CD-ROM and Guide. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195151732.
- jejunumileum at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University)
- ter Maaten JC, Serné EH, van Eps WS, ter Wee PM, Donker AJ, Gans RO (March 2000). "Effects of insulin and atrial natriuretic peptide on renal tubular sodium handling in sickle cell disease". Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 278 (3): F499–505. PMID 10710555.