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In the renal system, peritubular capillaries are tiny blood vessels, supplied by the efferent arteriole, that travel alongside nephrons allowing reabsorption and secretion between blood and the inner lumen of the nephron. Peritubular capillaries surround the proximal and distal tubules, as well as the loop of Henle, where they are known as vasa recta.
Basically, they reabsorb useful substances such as glucose and amino acids and secrete certain mineral ions and excess water into the tubule.
The majority of exchange through the peritubular capillaries occurs because of chemical gradients osmosis and hydrostatic pressure. Movement of water into the peritubular capillaries is due to the loss of water from the glomerulus during filtration, which increases the colloid osmotic pressure of the blood. This blood leaves the glomerulus via the efferent arteriole, which supplies the peritubular capillaries. The higher osmolarity of the blood in the peritubular capillaries creates an osmotic pressure which causes the uptake of water. Other ions can be taken up by the peritubular capillaries via solvent drag. Water is also driven into the peritubular capillaries due to the higher fluid pressure of the interstitium, driven by reabsorption of fluid and electrolytes via active transport, and the low fluid pressure of blood entering the peritubular capillaries due to the narrowness of the efferent arteriole.
- http://faculty.stcc.edu/AandP/AP/AP2pages/Units24to26/urinary/nephron.htm. Missing or empty
- Histology image: 16016loa – Histology Learning System at Boston University
- Physiology: 7/7ch03/7ch03p10 - Essentials of Human Physiology - "Renal Vasculature: Efferent Arterioles & Peritubular Capillaries"
- Anatomy photo: Urinary/mammal/vasc0/vasc4 - Comparative Organology at University of California, Davis - "Mammal, renal vasculature (EM, Low)"