Tubules and nephrons

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  • Created by: TBird
  • Created on: 01-12-12 13:04

There are about a million kidney tubules or nephrons in each kidney. At the start of the nephron is a hollow cup of cells called the Bowman’s capsule. It surrounds a ball of blood capillaries called a glomerulus (plural is glomeruli) . It is here that the blood is filtered. Blood enters the kidney through the renal artery, which divides into smaller and smaller arteries. The smallest arteries. called arterioles, supply the cappillaries of the glomerulus. 

A blood vessel with a smaller diameter carries blood away from the glomerulus, leading to capillary networks which surround other parts of the nephron. Because of the resistance to flow caused by the glomerulus, the pressure of the blood in the arteriole leading to the glomerulus is very high . This pressure forces fluid from the blood through the walls of the cappillaries and to Bowman’s capsule, into the space in the middle of the capsule. Blood in the glomerulus and the space in the capsule are separated by two layers of cells, the capillary wall and the wall of the capsule.

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