glomerulus

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glomerulus

 [glo-mer´u-lus] (pl. glomer´uli) (L.)
1. a small tuft or cluster, such as a small convoluted mass of capillaries.
2. a network of vascular tufts encased in the malpighian capsule of the kidney. adj., adj glomer´ular.

The glomerulus is an integral part of the nephron, the basic unit of the kidney. Each nephron is capable of forming urine by itself, and each kidney has approximately a million nephrons. The specific function of each glomerulus is to bring blood (and the waste products it carries) to the nephron. As the blood flows through the glomerulus, about one fifth of the plasma passes through the glomerular membrane, collects in the malpighian capsule, and then flows through the renal tubules. Much of this fluid passes back into the blood via the small capillaries around the tubules (peritubular capillaries). The continuous filtration of fluid from the glomeruli and its reabsorption into the peritubular capillaries are made possible by a high pressure in the glomerular capillary bed and a low pressure in the peritubular bed.

Any disease of the glomeruli, such as acute or chronic glomerulonephritis, must be considered serious because it interferes with the basic functions of the kidneys, that is, filtration of liquids and excretion of certain end products of metabolism and excess sodium, potassium, and chloride ions that may accumulate in the blood.

glo·mer·u·lus

, pl.

glo·mer·u·li

(glō-mer'yū-lŭs, -ū-lī),
1. A plexus of capillaries.
2. A tuft formed of capillary loops at the beginning of each nephric tubule in the kidney; this tuft, with its capsule constitutes the corpusculum renis (renal corpuscle). Synonym(s): malpighian glomerulus, malpighian tuft
3. The twisted secretory portion of a sweat gland.
4. A cluster of dendritic ramifications and axon terminals forming a complex synaptic relationship and surrounded by a glial sheath.
Synonym(s): glomerule
[Mod. L. dim. of L. glomus, a ball of yarn]

glomerulus

(glō-mĕr′yə-ləs)
n. pl. glomeru·li (-lī′)
1. A small cluster or mass of blood vessels or nerve fibers.
2. A tuft of capillaries situated within a Bowman's capsule at the end of a renal tubule in the vertebrate kidney that filters waste products from the blood and thus initiates urine formation.

glo·mer·u·lus

, pl. glomeruli (glō-meryū-lŭs, -lī)
1. A plexus of capillaries.
2. A tuft formed of capillary loops at the beginning of each nephric tubule in the kidney; this tuft with its capsule constitutes the renal corpusculum (malpighian body).
3. The twisted secretory portion of a sweat gland.
4. A cluster of dendritic ramifications and axon terminals forming a complex synaptic relationship and surrounded by a glial sheath.
Synonym(s): Bowman capsule, glomerule.
[Mod. L. dim. of L. glomus, a ball of yarn]

glomerulus

(glō-mĕr′ū-lŭs) plural.glomeruli [L.]
Enlarge picture
FILTRATION IN GLOMERULUS
1. One of the capillary networks that are part of the renal corpuscles in the nephrons of the kidney. Each is surrounded by a Bowman's capsule, the site of renal (glomerular) filtration, which is the first step in the formation of urine. See: illustration
2. A group of twisted capillaries or nerve fibers.

olfactory glomerulus

A neural network found in the olfactory bulb, formed by the dendrites of mitral cells intertwined with the axons of olfactory receptor cells.

glomerulus

A microscopic, spherical tuft of blood capillaries, especially that within the BOWMAN'S CAPSULES of the kidney, through which urine is filtered. From the Latin glomus , a ball of thread.

glomerulus

a knot of capillaries found in the vertebrate kidney, enclosed in the BOWMAN'S CAPSULE. Substances such as water and any small molecules dissolved in it filter from the blood, across the endothelium of the capillaries and the epithelium of the capsule, into the tubules leading to the LOOP OF HENLE.

Glomerulus (glomeruli)

A small tuft of blood capillaries in the kidney, responsible for filtering out waste products.

glo·mer·u·lus

, pl. glomeruli (glō-meryū-lŭs, -lī)
1. A plexus of capillaries.
2. A tuft formed of capillary loops at the beginning of each nephric tubule in the kidney.
3. The twisted secretory portion of a sweat gland.
Synonym(s): Bowman capsule.
[Mod. L. dim. of L. glomus, a ball of yarn]