Concentrating engines and the kidney. II. Multisolute central core systems

Biophys J. 1973 Jun;13(6):546-67. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(73)86006-0.


The analysis of the central core model of the renal medulla is extended to multisolute systems. It is shown that total solute concentration obeys the same differential equations for core and ascending limb as in a single solute system. Equations are derived for the concentration of individual solutes. Application of these equations to a two solute system shows that a central core system can concentrate with all transport being down a concentration gradient. This analysis applied to the renal medulla shows that mixing of urea from the collecting duct (CD) and salt from the loop of Henle in the central core of the inner medulla contributes to the concentration of urine during antidiuresis. It also sets criteria for completely passive function of the loop in the inner medulla, but whether these are satisfied cannot be determined from present experimental data.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Diuresis
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Medulla / physiology
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological
  • Urea / metabolism
  • Urine


  • Urea