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Development of the Urogenital System – Urinary System and Kidney Development

by John McLachlan, PhD
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    00:01 Hello, and welcome to this lecture on the development of the kidney and the urinary system. What we’re going to do is to look at the basics of the development of the urinary system and then in particular, we’ll look at the circulation of amniotic fluid because this can be clinically really quite significant. And it follows from abnormalities that can arise during the course of urinary system development. So, let’s go back to an early stage in the embryo. Here, we’re looking at an image of an embryo, probably about four weeks after fertilization. We can see roundback the somites, the segmented structures that will give rise to the vertebrae. But if we could look through the embryo, you have to imagine that this is a semi-transparent embryo, what we’d see is that inside the abdominal cavity on each side of the gut, there are two ridges which run down the length of the body from head to tail and these are called the urogenital ridges. Now, this is important because they will give rise both to the urinary system, and also to the reproductive or genital system. So they’ll give rise to the ovaries and testis and many of their supporting structures, subsequently. Therefore, these two systems are closely linked together in the course of development. In this lecture, we were focusing on the urinary system. Now, this is a cutaway version of an embryo roundabout the same stage and up at the top, you can see it’s being cut transversely across the body axis, and there you can see the gut suspended from its dorsal mesentery. We can also see indicated the urogenital ridge, this ridge that runs down the body from head to tail, and of course there’s a parallel one on the other side of the body. Part of that is marked as the gonad. So one region of that will give rise to either the ovary or the testis, depending on the sex of the embryo. Now let’s look at a transverse section across the main body axis. Here we can see the gut suspended from its dorsal mesentery. And we can see the urogenital ridge to the side, and the gonad is visible.

    02:12 But we can also see the mesonephric duct. This is the duct off to the right hand side of the image, and from it, comes a long extended tubule which coils around, and eventually, comes in close association with the blood vessel. This looks very like a miniature version of one of the kidney functioning systems in the adult and indeed, it’s playing a similar process although never producing true urine as we will see. These are arranged in a kind


    About the Lecture

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


    Author of lecture Development of the Urogenital System – Urinary System and Kidney Development

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD


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