Kidney Endocrine Function - Anatomy & Physiology

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The kidney synthesises and secretes various products, including hormones and enzymes which have a vital role within the body.

Secretory Products of the Kidney
Product Action
Renin This enzyme forms a vital part of theRenin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System]], a complex system of hormones and enzymes which act to raise blood pressure when stimulated by hypotension.

Renin is the enzyme required for the creation of the hormone angiotensin.

Erythropoietin Erythropoeitin is the vital hormone for erythropoeisis, the production of red blood cells.
Calcitriol Also known as Active Vitamin D3, or 1-25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3, Calcitriol is vital for calcium homeostasis, and acts to raise plasma calcium levels. Within the kidney, vitamin D from dietary sources or the skin is 'activated' by hydroxylation.


A proteolytic enzyme synthesised in the kidney. Renin affects blood pressure indirectly and is part of the first stage of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system. Its effects are through its activation of this system by the conversion of angiotensinogen to angiotensin 1.


Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein hormone produced in the kidneys in adult life. Its function is beyond the scope of this section and more information can be found on regulatioon of erythropoiesis.

Vitamin D

The activation of vitamin D is regulated by the kidneys under the influence of another hormone, PTH.

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