Studies of human nephron number have been conducted for well over a century and have uncovered a large variability in nephron number. However, the mechanisms influencing nephron endowment and loss, along with the etiology for the wide range among individuals are largely unknown. Advances in imaging technology have allowed investigators to revisit the principles of renal structure and physiology and their roles in the progression of kidney disease. Here, we will review the latest data on the influences impacting nephron number, innovations made over the last 6 years to understand and integrate renal structure and function, and new developments in the tools used to count nephrons in vivo.
- Glomerular number
- Nephron endowment