Morphological study of the desert heteromyid kidney with emphasis on the genus perognathus

Eric M. Altschuler, Ray B. Nagle, Eldon J. Braun, Stan L. Lindstedt, Philip H. Krutzsch

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22 Scopus citations


The renal morphology of three species of desert dwelling Perognathus rodents were compared to Dipodomys and two species of sympatric cricetid rodents. Perognathus has a highly adapted unipolar kidney capable of urine concentration up to 7,500 mOsm/KgH2O. Two major modifications were observed in these kidneys. (1) There is elongation of both the inner and outer medulla. When the thickness of the regions in P. penicillatus are factored by kidney weight it is found that the outer medulla is 3.8 and the inner medulla is 2.2 times greater in length than the extensively studied Dipodomys merriami. (2) There is great variance in glomerular size with approximately 20% of the glomeruli being very large and located in the juxta medullary region. These glomeruli are 1.5‐1.6 times greater in diameter than the more numerous superficial glomeruli. These structural modifications are quantitated and the functional implications are discussed particularly in relation to urine concentrating ability in these desert inhabitants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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