Renal oxygenation: Pre-glomerular vasculature is an unlikely contributor to renal oxygen shunting.
The primary aim of this study is to assess the plausibility of pre-glomerular arterial-to-venous oxygen shunting in the kidney. To this end, we have developed a segment-wise three-dimensional computational model that takes into account transport processes in arteries, veins, cortical tissue and capillaries. Our model suggests that the amount of pre-glomerular oxygen shunting is negligible. Consequently, it is improbable that pre-glomerular shunting contributes to the hypothesized regulation of renal oxygenation. Cortical tissue oxygenation is more likely determined by the interplay between oxygen supply – either from the pre-glomerular vasculature or from capillaries – and oxygen consumption. We show that reported differences in permeability to oxygen between perfused and unperfused tissue may be explained by what we refer to as advection-facilitated diffusion. We further show that the pre-glomerular vasculature is the primary source of oxygen for the tissue when cortical consumption is high or renal arterial blood is highly oxygenated, i.e., under hyperoxemic conditions. Conversely, when oxygen demand in the tissue is decreased, or under hypoxemic conditions, oxygen is supplied predominantly by capillaries.Download Article