Dictionary > Nephron

Nephron

Definition
noun, plural: nephrons
The structural and functional unit of the kidney, i.e. a structure comprised of a set of tubules and its chief functions are blood filtration, osmoregulation, and waste elimination by urine formation
Supplement
The nephron is regarded as the structural and functional unit of the kidney. It is a tubular structure comprised of the renal corpuscle and renal tubule. These tubules are closely associated with a network of blood vessels.
The renal corpuscle (also known as Malpighian corpuscle) consists of the following parts:

  • Glomerulus
  • Bowman’s capsule (also called glomerular capsule)

The renal tubule is comprised of the following parts:

  • Proximal convoluted tubule
  • Loope of Henle (i.e. descending and ascending limb of loop of Henle)
  • Distal convoluted tubule
  • The main function of nephron is to filter waste products from the blood. The waste products are removed in the form of urine. This function of the nephron is important in osmoregulation. The nephrons regulate the level of water and soluble substances (e.g. sodium salts). They reabsorb what remains essential and then eliminate wastes. Thus, they are associated with the regulation of blood volume, blood pressure, electrolyte and metabolite levels, blood pH, etc.
    See also:

    Related term(s):

  • nephrology
  • Nephrosis


    You will also like...

    "Opabinia regalis"
    The Evolutionary Development of Multicellular Organisms

    Multicellular organisms evolved. The first ones were likely in the form of sponges. Multicellularity led to the evolutio..

    3D rendering of an antibody
    Passive and Active Types of Immunity

    Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell capable of producing a specific immune response to unique antigens. In thi..

    Psychiatry and mental disorders
    Psychiatry & Mental Disorders

    Different mental disorders are described here. Read this tutorial to get an overview of schizophrenia, affective mood di..

    river
    Running Water Freshwater Communities

    This tutorial introduces flowing water communities, which bring new and dithering factors into the equation for possible..

    Cell Biology
    Cell Biology

    The cell is defined as the fundamental, functional unit of life. Some organisms are comprised of only one cell whereas o..

    Circulation
    Circulation

    The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..