In the glomerulus of the kidney, the mesangium is a structure associated with the capillaries. It is continuous with the smooth muscles of the arterioles. It is outside the capillary lumen, but surrounded by capillaries. It is in the middle (meso) between the capillaries (angis). It is contained by the basement membrane, which surrounds both the capillaries and the mesangium.

Renal corpuscle showing the mesangial cells. The mesangium is the purple structure inside the glomerulus between the capillaries and extending outside the glomerulus.
Anatomical terminology

This term is often used interchangeably with mesangial cell, but in this context refers specifically to the intraglomerular mesangial cells. These cells are phagocytic and secrete the amorphous basement membrane-like material known as the mesangial matrix. They are typically separated from the lumen of the capillaries by endothelial cells.


Further reading

  • Nielsen, S.; Kwon, T.H.; Fenton, R.A.; Praetorious, J. (2012). "Anatomy of the Kidney". In Rector, F. C.; Brenner, B. M. (eds.). Brenner & Rector's the kidney. 1 (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders. pp. 31–93. ISBN 978-1-4160-6193-9.
  • Kriz, W; Elger, M; Mundel, P; Lemley, K. V (1995). "Structure-stabilizing forces in the glomerular tuft". Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 5 (10): 1731–9. PMID 7787139.
  • Schlöndorff, Detlef (1996). "Roles of the mesangium in glomerular function". Kidney International. 49 (6): 1583–5. doi:10.1038/ki.1996.229. PMID 8743459.
  • Phua, Yu Leng; Chu, Jessica Y. S; Marrone, April K; Bodnar, Andrew J; Sims‐Lucas, Sunder; Ho, Jacqueline (2015). "Renal stromal miRNAs are required for normal nephrogenesis and glomerular mesangial survival". Physiological Reports. 3 (10): e12537. doi:10.14814/phy2.12537. PMC 4632944. PMID 26438731.
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