The discovery of the capsula glomerularis.

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Table of Contents
definition

The capsula glomerularis (known also as “Bowman’s capsule”) is a cup-like structure at the beginning of the tubular part of the nephron in the mammalian kidney that performs the first step in the filtration of blood to form urine[1].

DISCOVERY

The English surgeon, histologist and anatomist William Bowman discovered[2] the capsula glomerularis after trying to understand the structure and function of the renal corpuscle as there were multiple differing understandings about it at that time. After learning of a new injection method, he injected potassium chromate and lead acetate (which formed lead chromate, a yellow compound) in the renal artery of a kidney and observed it rupture the glomerulus and present itself in a structure and nearby tubules. That structure was the capsula glomerularis. Here is a labelled photomicrograph[3] of a renal corpuscle with the capsula glomerularis (Bowman’s capsule) clearly visible:

[ux_image_box img=”1243″ image_width=”50″ link=”https://www.auanet.org/education/auauniversity/education-products-and-resources/pathology-for-urologists/normal-histology-and-important-histo-anatomic-structures/kidney-renal-corpuscle-(glomerulus)” target=”_blank”]

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discoverer

Here is a portrait[4] of William Bowman:

[ux_image_box img=”1247″ image_width=”40″ link=”https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101410722-img” target=”_blank”]

1816-1892

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sources
  1. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/capsula+glomeruli
  2. https://archive.org/details/philtrans05168220/mode/2up, pages 57-60.
  3. https://www.auanet.org/education/auauniversity/education- products-and-resources/pathology-for-urologists/normal-histology-and-important-histo-anatomic-structures/kidney-renal-corpuscle-(glomerulus)
  4. https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid- 101410722-img