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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.
See also: uriniferous tubule.
nephron/neph·ron/ (nef´ron) the structural and functional unit of the kidney, numbering about a million in the renal parenchyma, each being capable of forming urine; see also renal tubules, under tubule.
nephronThe functional anatomic unit of the kidney, which consists of a glomerulus, convoluted tubules and a loop of Henle (nephron loop)
nephronthe 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.
nephronfunctional unit of kidney, i.e. Bowman's capsule, proximal convoluted tubule, loop of Henle and distal convoluted tubule
collecting tubule straight portion of nephron; lies within renal cortex
convoluted tubule portion of nephron immediately distal to Bowman's capsule, made up of descending and ascending limbs of loop of Henle, acting respectively as a selective absorbing membrane and a collecting duct for urine