Innervation of the renal vasculature of the toad (Bufo marinus)

Judith L. Morris, Ian L. Gibbins

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The innervation of the dorsal aorta and renal vasculature in the toad (Bufo marinus) has been studied with both fluorescence and ultrastructural histochemistry. The innervation consists primarily of a dense plexus of adrenergic nerves associated with all levels of the preglomerular vasculature. Non-adrenergic nerves are occasionally found in the renal artery, and even more rarely near the afferent arterioles. Many of the adrenergic nerve profiles in the dorsal aorta and renal vasculature are distinguished by high proportions of chromaffin-negative, large, filled vesicles. Close neuromuscular contacts are common in both the renal arteries and afferent arterioles. Possibly every smooth muscle cell in the afferent arterioles is multiply innervated. The glomerular capillaries and peritubular vessels are not innervated, and only 3-5% of efferent arterioles are accompanied by single adrenergic nerve fibres. Thus, nervous control of glomerular blood flow must be exerted primarily by adrenergic nerves acting on the preglomerular vasculature. The adrenergic innervation of the renal portal veins and efferent renal veins may play a role in regulating peritubular blood flow. In addition, glomerular and postglomerular control of renal blood flow could be achieved by circulating agents acting via contractile elements in the glomerular mesangial cells, and in the endothelial cells and pericytes of the efferent arterioles. Some adrenergic nerve profiles near afferent arterioles are as close as 70 nm to distal tubule cells, indicating that tubular function may be directly controlled by adrenergic nerves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-376
Number of pages20
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphibia
  • Innervation
  • Kidney
  • Vasculature


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