Collecting Duct system

Monday, November 30, 2009

The collecting duct system of the kidney consists of a series of tubules and ducts that connect the nephrons to the ureter. It participates in electrolyte and fluid balance through reabsorption and excretion, processes regulated by the hormones aldosterone and antidiuretic hormone.

The collecting duct system of the kidney consists of the connecting tubule, the cortical collecting duct, and the medullary collecting duct. The collecting duct system is the final component of the kidney to influence the body's electrolyte and fluid balance. In humans, the system accounts for 4-5 percent of the kidney's reabsorption of sodium and 5% of the kidney's reabsorption of water. At times of extreme dehydration, over 24% of the filtered water may be reabsorbed in the collecting duct system.

The wide variation in water reabsorption levels for the collecting duct system reflects its dependence on hormonal activation. The collecting ducts, particularly the outer medullary and cortical collecting ducts, are largely impermeable to water without the presence of antidiuretic hormone (ADH, or vasopressin).