High resolution

Module 7: Figure pelviureteric organization

Organization and function of the pelviureteric system.

Urine formed by the kidney tubules is collected by the pelvicalyceal junction (PCJ) and is then passed towards the proximal renal pelvis (Prox. RP), distal renal pelvis (Dist. RP) and then to the ureter. The pelvis and ureter use a peristaltic pumping mechanism to transfer urine towards the bladder. In the pelvic region, this pumping is carried out by the typical smooth muscle cells (SMCs). In addition, there are atypical SMCs and interstitial cells of Cajal-like cells, which appear to function as pacemakers to drive the peristaltic contractions of the typical SMCs. The characteristic electrical activity of these three cells types is described in the text. Information for this drawing was taken from Figures 1 and 11 in Lang et al (2007).