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Glomerular Capillary Vessel
Renal Corpuscle

Glomerular Capillary Vessel

Rete capillare glomerulare

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Quick Facts

A glomerular capillary is any of the capillaries of a renal glomerulus (Dorland, 2011).

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Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

Endothelium of glomerular capillaries contains numerous fenestrations about 70–90 nm in diameter and lacks a diaphragm present in fenestrations of capillaries in other body organs (Ross and Pawlina, 2006). The endothelial cells possess water channels permitting rapid movement of water through the epithelium.

Endothelial cells lining the glomerular capillaries exhibit a glycocalyx consisting of a 200–400 nm meshwork of carbohydrate-rich molecules and peripheral membrane proteins (Ross and Pawlina, 2006). Plasma proteins, such as albumin, taken up from the blood coat the luminal surface of the glycocalyx.

Anatomical Relations

Glomerular capillary vessels are enclosed within the glomerular (Bowman’s) space.


Glomerular capillaries of the renal corpuscle facilitate the blood-filtering function of the nephron.

List of Clinical Correlates

Secretory products of the endothelial cells e.g., nitric oxide or prostaglandins (PGE2) play a role in the pathogenesis of several thrombotic glomerular diseases.


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

Ross, M. H. and Pawlina, W. (2006) Histology: A text and atlas. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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