Renal Physiology: Find the mode of action of a diuretic drug

Renal Physiology
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Renal Physiology Virtual Lab Simulation

Did you know your kidneys play a critical role in purifying the bloodstream and recycling important molecules? In this simulation, you will learn about the structure of the different tissues inside the kidney and their respective functions for maintaining a healthy body, as well as their influence on urine regulation.

Uncover the mode of action of a new diuretic drug

A diuretic drug can help with hypertension and prevent kidney disease by increasing urine output. In this simulation, you’ll meet a nephrologist who has a promising new drug candidate, but who would like a student to elucidate the mode of action of this drug before clinical trials can be undertaken. You will explore the kidney structure through holograms and perfuse a kidney from a dissected rat to test different hypotheses regarding the potential mechanism of this new drug candidate.

Perfuse a kidney and perform a radioimmunoassay

A full 3D hologram of a kidney will let you explore the functions of the different renal tissues throughout the simulation, helping you formulate plausible hypotheses regarding the mode of action of the drug on different renal structures. You will also perfuse and extract the kidney of a dissected rat, before performing a radioimmunoassay on the section of a nephron. You will measure the resulting flow of radioactive perfusate to identify the target of the new diuretic drug candidate based on water and ion transport through the epithelial barrier.

Test your hypotheses

There are many ways a diuretic drug could influence urine output in the kidney. Using the 3D hologram and all the data at your disposal, will you be able to figure out the mode of action of the mysterious diuretic drug?

Get Started Now

Explore the structure of the kidney and discover its different functions by trying to uncover the mode of action of a new diuretic drug that has the potential to prevent hypertension.

Techniques In Lab

  • Analysis of glomerular filtration rate
  • Perfusing and extraction of a kidney from a rat
  • Preparing a section of a nephron tubule
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Data analysis of a tubule reabsorption experiment

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand the morphological relationships between the kidney tubules and the circulatory system
  • Analyze experimental data for calculating glomerular filtration rate
  • Set up and perform a perfusion of renal tubules, including the calculation of liquid absorption rates
  • Learn about the epithelial transport mechanism in the kidney tubules
  • Use experimental data to assess the mode of action of a diuretic drug

Screenshots of Renal Physiology Virtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Jon Harrison

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

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