Difference between Vasa Recta and Peritubular Capillaries

Vasa Recta

They are straight venules and arterioles of the kidney. They supply blood by entering the medulla as straight arterioles, and then leaving the medulla as straight venules. The vasa recta lie close to Henle’s loop. They also form hairpin loops in the medulla. They are absent or greatly reduced in the cortical region.

Vasa recta are permeable to water and solute. They play a vital role in maintaining the concentration gradient by adding and removing solute and water from the medulla.

Peritubular Capillaries

They are tiny blood vessels seen along the nephrons of the kidney. Most of the blood plasma is filtered through peritubular capillaries. They provide oxygen and nutrients to the cortical region. Also, they lie close to the distal and proximal convoluted tubules.

These capillaries can reabsorb useful minerals, amino acids, glucose and ions through active transport. The blood from peritubular capillaries leaves the kidney through the renal vein.

Also Read: Nephron – Function of Renal Tubules

Difference between Vasa Recta and Peritubular Capillaries

Vasa Recta

Peritubular Capillaries

They are straight venules and arterioles in the medullary region.

They are tiny blood vessels in the cortical region of the kidney.

It provides oxygen and nutrients in the renal medulla.

It provides oxygen and nutrients in the renal cortex.

They surround Henle’s loop.

They lie close to the distal and proximal convoluted tubules.

Explore: Urine formation and Osmoregulation

Frequently Asked Questions

What are juxtamedullary nephrons?

These are nephrons that have their renal corpuscles near the renal medulla. Their proximal tubule and Henle’s loop are found deeper in the medulla. These juxtamedullary nephrons make up approximately 15% of the total nephrons.

What is the renal corpuscle?

The glomerular capillaries and the bowman’s capsule constitute the renal corpuscle of the nephron. They are the blood filtering unit of the kidney.

What are efferent arterioles?

They are blood vessels that form a convergence of glomerular capillaries. They carry blood away from the glomerulus. Both vasa recta and peritubular capillaries branch off from these efferent arterioles.

What are intestinal vasa recta?

Vasa recta of intestines are straight blood capillaries similar to vasa recta renis. They arise from the mesentery of the ileum and jejunum and move towards the intestines.

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