nephron

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nephron

 [nef´ron]
the structural and functional unit of the kidney, each nephron being capable of forming urine by itself. The nephron consists of the renal corpuscle, the proximal convoluted tubule, the descending and ascending limbs of the loop of Henle, the distal convoluted tubule, and the collecting tubule. Each kidney is an aggregation of about a million nephrons. The specific function of the nephron is to remove from the blood plasma certain end products of metabolism, such as urea, uric acid, and creatinine, and also any excess sodium, chloride, and potassium ions. By allowing for reabsorption of water and some electrolytes back into the blood, the nephron also plays a vital role in the maintenance of normal fluid balance in the body.

The nephron is a complex system of arterioles, capillaries, and tubules. Blood is brought to the nephron via the afferent arteriole. As the blood flows through the glomerulus (a network of capillaries), about one-fifth of the plasma is filtered through the glomerular membrane and collects in the malpighian (Bowman's) capsule, which encases the glomerulus. The fluid then passes through the proximal tubule, from there into the loop of Henle, then into the distal tubule, and finally into the collecting tubule. As the fluid is making its tortuous journey through these various tubules, most of its water and some of the solutes are reabsorbed into the blood via the peritubular capillaries. The water and solutes remaining in the tubules become urine.

neph·ron

(nef'ron),
A long, convoluted, tubular structure in the kidney, consisting of the renal corpuscle, the proximal tubule, the nephronic loop, and the distal tubule.
See also: uriniferous tubule.
[G. nephros, kidney]

nephron

(nĕf′rŏn)
n.
The functional excretory unit of the vertebrate kidney that regulates the amount of water in the body and filters wastes from the blood to produce urine.

nephron

The functional anatomic unit of the kidney, which consists of a glomerulus, convoluted tubules and a loop of Henle (nephron loop)

neph·ron

(nef'ron)
A long convoluted tubular structure in the kidney, consisting of the renal corpuscle, the proximal convoluted tubule, the nephronic loop, and the distal convoluted tubule.
[G. nephros, kidney]

nephron

the MALPIGHIAN BODY and the associated tubule of the vertebrate kidney a structure about 5 cm long in humans. In each human kidney there are about one million nephrons, making a total for both kidneys of around fifty miles of tubules. Inflammation of the tubules is called nephritis.

Nephron

The smallest functional unit of the kidney involved in the removal of waste products and excess water from the blood.