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What is Glomerular Filtration? How is the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) determined? What regulatory mechanisms help control and stabilize GFR?

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Glomerular filtration rate is a measurement of the volume of ultrafiltrate produced by all the nephrons in the kidneys every minute. This process is crucial for maintaining a balance between the removal of excess solutes and water from the blood while ensuring that essential substances are retained. The GFR rate is tightly regulated to ensure that the kidneys are functioning correctly and efficiently (Ditki.com, 2022).

The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is constantly regulated and stabilized by two mechanisms: tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) and the myogenic response. These mechanisms work together to ensure that GFR and distal salt delivery remain stable, even when blood pressure fluctuates (Saladin, 2020). This protects the kidney from the damaging effects of hypertension (Saladin, 2020). The myogenic response mechanism enables the kidney to maintain a consistent blood flow and glomerular capillary pressure in response to changes in the delivery of sodium chloride to the macula densa. When NaCl levels rise at the macula densa, the myogenic response of afferent arterioles constricts, lowering the single-nephron GFR. In tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF), a rise in NaCl levels at the macula densa causes constriction of the glomerular afferent arteriole, which also lowers the single-nephron GFR (Saladin, 2020). These two mechanisms work in tandem to regulate GFR and protect the kidney from the harmful effects of hypertension.

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