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Inner Zone of Renal Cortex
Kidney Lobe

Inner Zone of Renal Cortex

Zona interna corticis renalis

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Quick Facts

The renal cortex is the outer part of the substance of the kidney, composed mainly of glomeruli and convoluted tubules; it is continuous with the renal columns, which are also composed of cortical tissue (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Features

The renal cortex is described as the highly vascularized, smooth, outer portion of the kidney. The renal corpuscles of the nephrons are located in the renal cortex. The cortex is subsequently divided into the outer and inner cortex depending on the distribution of the renal corpuscles (Zhang, 1999). Nephrons with their renal corpuscles located in the inner cortex are typically known as juxtamedullary nephrons.

Anatomical Relations

The inner cortex lies subjacent to the outer cortex and superjacent to the renal medulla.


Both the outer and inner cortex contribute to ultrafiltration, fluid balance regulation, and the production of the red blood cell synthesizing hormone, erythropoietin (Pocock et al, 2013).


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Pocock, G., Richards, C. D. & Richards, D. A. (2013) Human Physiology, 4 edition. OUP Oxford.

Zhang, S. X. (1999) An Atlas of HistologySpringer.

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