Q:

Where are macula densa cells located?

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Quick Answer

According to "Cell Signalling Biology," an online textbook by Professor Berridge of Cambridge, macula densa cells are located within the kidney. Specifically, they are part of a structure called the juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA) that is located deep within each of the kidney's minor drainage tubules.

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Full Answer

The kidney, as explained by Ivy Rose Holistic, is made up of nephrons, each of which processes body fluids into urine and drains the waste into a system of tubes for ultimate collection in the bladder. Each nephron is made up of several tubules. The tubule that is most distant from the entry point for body fluids into an individual nephron is called the distal convoluted tubule. Every distal convoluted tubule contains a JGA. As explained by "Cell Signalling Biology," the JGA is sensitive to changes in the amount of sodium and chloride ions present in the fluid that passes through it. The macula densa cells within the JGA detect the amount of sodium and chloride in the fluid and send signals to the rest of the JGA to either retain the minerals or release them into the urine.

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