Introduction

The kidneys are an integrative system that continuously interacts with the rest of systems in our body including the cardiac, endocrine and practically all of systems in our body, and in addition the kidneys have several other capacities. As excretory organs, the kidneys ensure that those substances in excess or that are harmful are excreted in urine in appropriate amounts. As regulatory organs, the kidneys maintain a constant volume and composition of the body fluids by varying the excretion of solutes and water. Finally, as endocrine organs, the kidneys synthesize and secrete three hormones: renin, erythropoietin, and 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol.

In these lectures students will learn about the importance of body fluids, the maintenance of ionic composition and osmolality in our body. Students will understand how the nephron works, the functional unit of the kidneys, with emphasis on the mechanisms starting in the glomerulus and end in the collecting duct, the mechanisms of ion and water movement that occur in each of the nephron segments and also, the maintenance of the acid-base balance, its origin and compensation (when exist). We will use common application cases in clinical practice.