My IGCSE markscheme says that the renal vein has a lower concentration of glucose? I would expect the renal artery to have lower glucose concentration as water is lost from the kidneys. Why is it so?

  • $\begingroup$ What is an "GCSE markscheme"? Can you add a quote of a few sentences to show the context? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 26 '19 at 4:15

The kidneys use glucose from the blood as a nutrient, so, this is the reasoning behind your source saying there is less glucose in the renal veins than in the arteries.

If the renal vein contains both less of water and glucose than the renal artery, the concentration of glucose in the renal vein still be lower. This agrees with Bioninja.com.au:

Blood in the renal vein (i.e. after the kidney) will have:

  • Less urea (large amounts of urea is removed via the nephrons to form urine)
  • Less water and solutes / ions (amount removed will depend on the hydration status of the individual)
  • Less glucose and oxygen (not eliminated, but used by the kidney to generate energy and fuel metabolic reactions)
  • More carbon dioxide (produced by the kidneys as a by-product of metabolic reactions)

On the other hand, an article in Scielo.br says:

Unlike the proximal nephron, cells in the distal nephron are fully capable of glucose utilization. In physiologic conditions, the amount of glucose utilized in the distal segments of the nephron equals that derived from the renal gluconeogenesis in proximal tubules. This is confirmed by the common finding that the arterial-renal vein blood glucose concentration difference in the post-absorptive state is near zero.

In conclusion, your source can still be right.


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