structure of the nephron


Structure of the kidney

Renal vein - returns blood the heart via the vena cava

Renal artery - supplies the kidney with blood from the heart via the aorta

Ureter - a tube that carries urine to the bladder

Nephron - (one of about a million, the functional unit)

Cortex - a lighter coloured outer region of renal capsules, convoluted tubules of blood vessels 

Fibrous capsule - an outer membrane that protects the kidney 

Pelvis - a funnel-shaped cavity that collects urine into the ureter

Medulla - a darker coloured inner region made up of blood vessels, loops of Henle, collecting ducts

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`Structure of the nephron (part 1)

(The renal cortex and the renal medulla)

Afferent arteriole - a tiny vessel that ultimately forms the glomerulus, arises from the renal artery and supplies the nephron with blood

Glomerulus - a branched knot of capillaries from which fluid is forced out of the blood, combines to form the efferent arteriole

Distal (or second) convoluted tubule - a series of loops surrounded by blood vessels, the walls are made of epithelial cells but Is surrounded by the proximal convoluted tubule

Efferent arteriole - a tiny vessel that leaves the renal capsule with a smaller diameter than the afferent arteriole, creating higher blood pressure in the glomerulus, carries blood away from the renal capsule and branches to form the blood capillaries

Renal (Bowman’s) capsule - the closed end at the start of the nephron, cup-shaped, surrounded by a mass of blood capillaries known as the glomerulus, the inner layer is made of podocyte

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Structure of the nephron (part 2)

(Renal artery, Renal vein, Nephron)

Proximal convoluted tubule - a series of loops surrounded by blood capillaries, walls made of epithelial cells which have microvilli to increase the surface area

Blood capillaries - a network of capillaries surrounding the proximal tubule that is where the reabsorption of mineral salts, glucose and water occurs, eventually merging into the renal vein

Loop of Henle - a long hairpin loop that extends from the cortex of the medulla of the kidney and back again

Collecting Duct - a tube into which a number of nephrons empty, lined by epithelial cells, becoming increasingly wider as it empties into the pelvis of the kidney 

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