128. Nephron, structure and function of its individual parts

From WikiLectures

Basic structure

• Nephron is the basic functioning unit of the kidney. Each kidney contains about 1-1.5 million nephrons. Each nephron consists of a renal corpuscle and a renal tubule. • Each renal corpuscle consists of an anastomosing capillary network called the glomerulus, surrounded by the glomerular capsule (bowman's capsule). • The glomerular capsule connects to the renal tubule. The renal tubule can be divided into various segments. • There are 2 types of nephrons, cortical nephron and juxtamedullary nephrons. The cortical nephrons are fond more superficially in the cortex, while the juxtamedullary ones are found next to the corticomedullary junction. • Both types of nephrons produce urine, but the juxtamedullary nephrons produce more concentrated urine, due to its hypertonic environment. • The renal tubules can be divided into: proximal convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule and a connecting tubule. • Loop of Henle= proximal straight tubule+ thin descending limb + thin ascending limb + distal straight tubule (also called thick ascending limb). • The distal tubule's final part is called the connecting tubule. The connecting tubule connects to the collecting duct.