Abnormal Development of the Kidneys – Urinary System and Kidney Development

by John McLachlan, PhD

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    00:00 total amount present in the amniotic sac. Let’s look now at some other abnormalities that can develop in the developing urinary system. One possibility is that one ureteric bud might fail to form altogether, or more probably, fail to induce the surrounding mesoderm to condense roundabout it. There is a complex and increasingly well-understood process of signaling by genes in gene products from the ureteric bud to the surrounding metanephric mesoderm, which brings about this condensation. And this can fail to take place. If this happens on one side, the corresponding kidney on the other side will enlarge to increase its possible function. But nonetheless, although this may not normally affect function of the kidneys, it does mean that that single kidney might be more liable to infection as a result.

    00:48 If kidneys failed to develop on both sides bilateral, renal agenesis, then of course that would be incompatible with normal life after birth. But of course, during the time of pregnancy, the mother would be handling all of the waste products. Another possibility is that the kidneys may come close together during the course of development and if they come in contact with each other, they may fuse. If they fuse in this way, and this is a condition called horseshoe kidney, then they’ll be unable to shift their relative position because they’ll be unable to clear the iliac artery subsequently. So they remain down in the pelvis.

    01:28 This is relatively common appearing in one in 1,500 live births or so. And because they’re in the pelvis, it would still function normally but they would not be detectable of course in their normal position, which may cause some confusion on ultrasound scan.

    01:43 Again, because there’s effectively just one kidney, it may be slightly more susceptible to infection as a result. It’s also sometimes possible to get an extra ureteric bud, and this will bring about an extra or ectopic kidney. That will normally be found in an abnormal position, although it will develop as one blood supply and be capable of functioning. Normally, it would not shift its relative position in the same way. Finally, there is a condition called polycystic kidney disease occuring in one in 800 live births. This is something which is an underlying genetic basis. What happens in this condition is that the embryonic patterns of gene expression persist into the early childhood and adulthood. As a result, multiple cysts will form in the kidney as you can see in the illustration. Eventually of course, if these cysts are sufficiently common, and of sufficiently large size, they will significantly inhibit kidney function, and may even prove fatal in the end. So then, to summarize what we’ve covered in this particular lecture. We’ve looked at the basics of development of the urinary system. And we saw that there are some common abnormalities that may arise as a consequence of things going wrong during the normal developmental pattern. In particular, we focused on the common condition of either too much or too little amniotic fluid due to result of the disturbance of the foetal amniotic fluid circulation.

    03:17 That’s it for this lecture. Thank you very much.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Abnormal Development of the Kidneys – Urinary System and Kidney Development by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course System-Specific Embryology with John McLachlan.

    Author of lecture Abnormal Development of the Kidneys – Urinary System and Kidney Development

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD

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    Just what i needed
    By Diego H. on 30. December 2017 for Abnormal Development of the Kidneys – Urinary System and Kidney Development

    Useful and easy to understand. Just what i needed to start my embryology of renal system studies.