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The Urinary System

Carry out an investigation into the Urinary system, constructing report into the following headings,
-the main parts and its associated organs
-the functions of each organ
-diseases(a minimum of 2 that can occur in the system)
-glossary of terms


The urinary system comprises of two kidneys, two ureters, a urinary bladder and a urethra.

Main organs of the Urinary system and Their Functions.

The Kidneys.
The kidneys are two, reddish-brown, bean-shaped organs, each of about twelve centimetres long. They are enclosed separately in a tough fibrous capsule. The kidneys are on both sides of the vertebral column between the twelfth thoracic vertebra and third lumbar vertebra. The left kidney is slightly more elevated than the right one. The central depression in the kidneys leads to a hollow renal sinus where nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels as well as the ureter goes into. A renal pelvis lies within the interior of the renal sinus. It is subdivided into major and minor calyces. A calyx refers to a small renal papilla that projects into each minor calyx (Jones et al.,  1986).
Within each kidney are two distinct regions namely: the renal medulla and renal cortex. Inside the medulla lay tubes that lead to the papillae. The cortex holds the nephrons which are the kidney’s functional units. The function of the kidneys is to regulate the body’s volume, composition, as well as the pH of its fluids. It also gets rid of metabolic wastes from the blood. Another role is to help control the speed of the formation of red blood cells by secreting erythropoietin. It regulates blood pressure via the secretion of renin.
The main renal blood vessels are such as the abdominal aorta and renal arteries.  The abdominal aorta brings about the renal arteries that lead into the kidneys. As the renal arteries pass through the kidney, they branch into smaller arteries, such as the arcuate, interlobar, arteries between the lobes of the kidney and eventually the afferent arterioles that lead into the nephrons. Blood that is venous returns through a series of vessels, which correspond to the pathways of the arteries.
Nephrons are present in millions in the kidney. Each contains a renal corpuscle and a tubule. The corpuscle is responsible for the filtration capacity of the nephrons. It comprises of a capillary ball known as the glomerulus and a glomerular capsule which receives the filtrate. The tubule leads away from the capsule, becoming an intensely coiled PCT at first before leading to the loop of the nephron and finally to the (DCT). Numerous distal convoluted tubules conjoin to create a collecting duct.
The function of the glomerulus is to receive blood from the huge afferent arteriole and then pass it to the smaller efferent arteriole.  The efferent arteriole then gives rise to the peritubular system of capillaries that surround the renal tubule. A macula densa form where the efferent afferent arterioles and the DCT and its epithelial cells meet. Near the densa on the afferent arteriole is smooth muscle cell referred to as the juxtaglomerular apparatus. The macula densa and juxtaglomerular cells form the apparatus.
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