Regulation of Kidney Function


The human body has two kidneys that can be found on the back side of the abdomen. Its main function is to filter the blood; however, it takes part in other things too. Such as balancing the fluid taken and lost by a person in their daily activities. It helps to stabilize the fluid volume and helps in maintaining blood pressure. It completes its tasks with the help of many hormones and vitamins and in the process; it keeps the human body healthy.

What is a Kidney?

Figure 1: Kidney

Kidneys are the bean-shaped organs in the human body that are the major parts of the urine system. It can be defined as a slight reddish-brown organ that can be found in vertebrates. The exact location is the side of the spine and below the rib area and each of them is the size of a fist.

The total amount of fluid that is filtered by the kidney every day is quite huge and shocking too. They can filter almost 200 quarts of fluid, which can be compared to a full bathtub quantity. With the help of this filtering process, the kidney removes all the waste material from the body in form of urine. The quantity of urine can be two quarts on daily basis. The body can reuse the remaining fluid, which is near 198 quarts.

What is Excretion?

In a day, people intake many things, which demands a proper excretion of these things. That is the way how the body can maintain its steady form. The process that helps the body to remove all the waste material from the body is known as excretion. Not everything that body intake is essential. However, some of them are crucial for body function. Many organs help in the process and keep the body active; the kidney plays the most significant role in that process. Other than that, lungs and sweat glands are important for the excretion process.

Importance of Kidney

The main function of the kidney is to remove the waste material and excess body fluids. Such products are removed by the body through urine. However, urine is one of the most complex processes of excretion, which brings balance and stability to the body.

Not only that, kidney plays a major role in the process of regulating the body's salt, potassium, and other acid contents. It can produce many hormones too.

Major kidney functions that make the kidney essential, are-

  • Removing the waste material and drugs

  • Balancing the body fluid

  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

  • Releasing hormones that help in regulating blood pressure.

Regulation of Kidney Function

Figure 2: Kidney Function

The regulation of kidney function can involve two major organs. They are −


Hypothalamus is an important thing involved in kidney regulation. Condition such as excessive fluid loss activates the osmoreceptors and eventually trigger the release of ADH or vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone. This hormone helps in the process of reabsorption of the water that comes from the distal part. It can prevent water loss and diuresis. When there is sufficient body fluid, it causes two things, switching off the osmoreceptors and suppression of the ADH.

This hormone can help in the constriction of the blood vessels. It can increase blood pressure and blood flow, which affects the GFR or the Glomerular filtration rate.

Juxtaglomerular Apparatus

Juxtaglomerular Apparatus is also involved in the regulation of kidney function. The process regulated by the JGA is known as the Renin-Angiotensin mechanism. If blood flow decreases in the glomerulus, it causes the release of Renin from the JG cells. It easily converted angiotensin present in the blood to angiotensin I and then to angiotensin II.

Angiotensin II is considered the powerful vasoconstrictor, which can increase the GFR. It also helps in the reabsorption of sodium and water. ANF or the Atrial Natriuretic Factor helps in this mechanism. This ANF is released in the increased blood flow in the atria of the heart.


The kidney maintains the body's fluid balance and purifies the blood, but every function of the kidney is monitored and regulated by some hormonal feedback mechanism, that involves the hypothalamus, juxtaglomerular apparatus, and the heart. The kidney balances the fluid of the body and electrolytes, which are an essential mineral, and purifies the blood. Diabetes and high BP are the two major things that are risk factors for the kidney.


Q1. What is the mechanism involved in kidney function?

Ans. The whole process of the kidney is regulated by three mechanisms. It involves the hypothalamus, juxtaglomerular apparatus which is also known as JGA, and the heart.

Q2. What are the main functions of the kidney?

Ans. The main function of the kidney is to remove all the waste material from the body. Other than that, it involves many more works such as removing the drugs and balancing the body fluid, and it also controls red blood cell production.

Q3. What are the hormones that affect kidney function?

Ans. Many hormones can affect kidney function. It responds to hormones such as aldosterone, prostaglandins, cortisol, and calcitonin, and is even affected by vitamin D.

Q4. What is vasopressin?

Ans. The ADH or the Antidiuretic Hormone is also called vasopressin. The main reason behind this is that it can cause the vasoconstriction process in the human body, which helps in the constriction of the blood vessels.

Q5. What is the most harmful thing for the kidney?

Ans. The most common two risks that can be too much harmful to the kidney are diabetes and high blood pressure. These two are major factors; however, obesity can be a cause too.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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