There is now morphological evidence from several species that the peripolar cell is a distinctive glomerular cell which may have a secretory function, although a secretory product has not been identified. Peripolar cells, like other glomerular epithelial cells, probably absorb plasma proteins from the glomerular filtrate. Peripolar cells may participate in regulation of sodium balance and the changes in renal function which occur at the time of birth. They are ideally situated to monitor the composition of the glomerular filtrate and/or the calibre of the glomerular arterioles. The relationship between peripolar cells and other granulated glomerular epithelial cells must be clarified, however their morphology and unique anatomical site is suggestive of a specialised function.