(redirected from pronephric)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.


One of the anterior pair of renal organs in higher vertebrate embryos; the pair initiates formation of the archinephric duct.



the excretory organ in the embryos of lower vertebrates; in higher vertebrates, including man, the pronephros is vestigial and nonfunctional. During embryonic development, the pronephros is replaced by the mesonephros. In most taxonomic groups the excretory ducts of the pronephros have a single filtering apparatus—a vascular glomerulus located near the funnel (nephrostome) through which each tubule of the pronephros opens into the coelom. The other ends of the tubules merge and form the rudiment of the pronephrotic canal, which grows toward the posterior end and terminates in the cloaca.

References in periodicals archive ?
2+] signaling during the formation of the pronephros (the functional embryonic kidney) in both intact zebrafish and Xenopus laevis embryos, as well as in Xenopus animal caps that are isolated at the blastula stage and induced to differentiate into pronephric tubules by incubation with retinoic acid (RA) and activin A (AA).
The 125-[micro]M dose resulted in expression in epithelial cells of the developing skin, gill, olfactory organ, digestive tract, liver, pronephric ducts of the pronephros, and in the lateral line neuromasts (Figure 3).