Contractile properties of afferent and efferent arterioles

Sadayoshi Ito, Keishi Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


1. The balance of vascular tone of the afferent and efferent arteriole is a crucial determinant of glomerular haemodynamics. Despite their intimate anatomical relationship in the juxtaglomerular apparatus, the mechanisms that regulate afferent and efferent arteriolar tone are different. 2. In the afferent arteriole, two intrinsic mechanisms, the myogenic response and macula densa-mediated tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) play a dominant role, maintaining the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at a constant level over a wide range of renal perfusion pressure. Studies have shown that these two mechanisms are modulated by nitric oxide (NO). In addition, an interaction between TGF and angiotensin II (AngII) seems to be essential to maintaining GFR despite large variations in daily intake of salt and water. 3. In the efferent arteriole, neither myogenic response nor TGF seems to be important, while AngII is one major factor involved in the control of vascular resistance. In addition, recent studies have provided evidence that NO and prostaglandins produced by the glomerulus may control resistance of the down-stream efferent arteriole. 4. As the early segment of the efferent arteriole resides within the glomerulus, various autacoid hormones produced by the glomerulus may reach and directly act on this segment, thereby controlling the glomerular capillary pressure. Thus, it would be important to understand the differences in the mechanisms operating at the afferent and efferent arteriole, as well as their alterations in various physiological and pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-535
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Angiotensin
  • Juxtaglomerular apparatus
  • Macula densa
  • Nitric oxide
  • Prostaglandin
  • Tubuloglomerular feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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