Nephron Definition

“Nephron is the fundamental practical unit of kidneys that consists of a glomerulus and its linked tubules through which the glomerular filtprice passes before it emerges as urine”

Let’s go with the structure and also attribute of the nephron and learn more in information around the various components of the nephron and the function of renal tubule in urine formation and excretion process.

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A nephron is the basic structural and functional unit of the kidney. They are the microscopic structure created of a renal corpuscle and also a renal tubule. The word nephron is acquired from the Greek word – nephros, definition kidney. Tbelow are about countless nephrons in each human kidney.


Structure of Nephron

The mammalian nephron is a lengthy tube-favor framework, its size differing from 35–55 mm lengthy. At one finish, the tube is closed, folded and increased, right into a double-walled, a cupfavor structure referred to as the Bowman’s capsule or renal corpuscular capsule, which encloses a cluster of microscopic blood vessels referred to as the glomerulus. This capsule and glomerulus together constitute the renal corpuscle.

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The structure of nephron comprises two major portions:

Renal TubuleRenal Corpuscle

Renal Tubule

The renal tubule is a lengthy and also convoluted framework that emerges from the glomerulus and also can be split right into three components based upon attribute.

The initially part is dubbed the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) as a result of its proximity to the glomerulus; it continues to be in the renal cortex.The second component is referred to as the loop of Henle, or nephritic loop because it forms a loop (via descending and also ascending limbs) that goes through the renal medulla.The third part of the renal tubule is dubbed the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) and this part is additionally restricted to the renal cortex.

The capillaries of the glomerulus are enclosed by a cup-like framework dubbed Bowman’s capsule. This framework exoften tends to create highly coiled tubules dubbed PCT. PCT proceeds to create the loop of Henle which ascends to DCT, which in turn opens up right into the collecting duct.

The major attribute of tubules is reabsorption and the process have the right to either be with active transport or passive transport. In addition, secretions by tubules assist in the urine development without affecting the electrolyte balance of the body.

Proximal Convoluted Tubule (PCT)

The blood brought by the renal artery is filtered by the glomerulus and also then passed to the PCT. Maximum reabsorption takes place in PCT of the nephron.PCT is the region of renal tubule wbelow reabsorption of important substances favor glucose, proteins, amino acids, a major percent of electrolytes and water takes place. The surchallenge area for reabsorption is promoted by the lining of the simple cuboidal epithelium in them. Reabsorption takes area at the cost of power, i.e., the process is active.PCT selectively secretes ions such as hydrogen, ammonia, and also potassium right into the filtprice and absorbs HCO3–from it. Thus, PCT maintains the electrolyte and acid-base balance of the body fluids.

Henle’s Loop

Henle’s loop has a descfinishing and also an ascending limb. Being components of the exact same loop, both the descending and ascfinishing limbs present different permecapacity. The descfinishing limb is permeable to water but impermeable to an electrolyte, while the ascending limb is permeable to electrolytes yet impermeable to water. Because the electrolytes gain retook in at the ascending loop of Henle, the filtrate gets diluted as it moves in the direction of the ascfinishing limb. But reabsorption is limited in this segment.

Distal Convoluted Tubule (DCT)

The DCT, which is the last component of the nephron, connects and also empties its contents into collecting ducts that line the medullary pyramids. The collecting ducts amass contents from multiple nephrons and fusage together as they enter the papillae of the renal medulla.

Comparable to PCT, DCT also secretes ions such as hydrogen, potassium, and also NH3 into the filtrate while reabsorbing the HCO3–from the filtrate. Conditional reabsorption of sodium ions and water takes place in DCT. Therefore, it maintains the pH and sodium-potassium level in the blood cells.

Collecting Duct

Collecting duct is a long, right tube where H+ and K+ ions are secreted to preserve the electrolyte balance of the blood. This is additionally the region wright here the maximum reabsorption of water takes area to develop focused urine.

Renal Corpuscle

The renal corpuscle is composed of a glomerulus surrounded by a Bowman’s capsule. The glomerulus arises from an afferent arteriole and also empties right into an efferent arteriole. The smaller sized diameter of an efferent arteriole helps to keep high blood push in the glomerulus.

The Bowman’s capsule is split right into three layers:

Outer Parietal layer: It is made up of epithelial cells through minute pores of diameter 12nm.Middle Basement membrane: This layer is selectively permeable.Inner Visceral Layer: It consists of big nucleated cells referred to as podocytes which bear finger-choose projections referred to as podocel.

Also Read: Human Excretory System


There are 2 forms of nephron:

Cortical nephron

These are the nephrons existing within the cortex. These are short and also consist of about 80% of the complete nephrons.

Juxtamedullary nephron

These have actually lengthy loops of Henle and also extend right into the medulla. These are about 20%.


The primary function of nephron is rerelocating all waste assets consisting of the solid wastes, and also other excess water from the blood, converting blood into the urine, reabsorption, secretion, and excretion of countless substances.

As the blood passes via the glomerulus through high push, the tiny molecules are relocated into the glomerular capsules and travel with a winding series of tubules.

The cell current in each tube absorbs various molecules excluding the glucose, water, and also other advantageous molecules which are dubbed as the ultrafiltprice. As the ultrafiltrate molecules travel down the tubules they come to be even more and even more hypertonic, which outcomes in even more amount of water to be extracted from the ultrafiltprice prior to it exits the nephrons.

The blood neighboring the nephron travels back into the body with the renal blood vessels, which are totally free of toxins and various other excess substances. The acquired ultrafiltrate is urine, which travels dvery own using the collecting duct to the bladder, wright here it will certainly be stored and also released with the urethra.

Also Read: Urine Formation And Osmoregulation


Though excretion in humans takes place through lungs, skin, liver, the kidneys are the primary organs of the humale excretory system. They are bean-shaped organs, which weigh in between 150 to 170 gms and also their length ranges from 4 – 5 inches lengthy.

The kidneys are located in the retroperitoneal room in the abdominal cavity, just below the rib cage and also present in the opposite direction or facing each various other on both the left and also appropriate side of the body. The ideal kidney is slightly smaller sized and lower than the left kidney.

Contrasted to males, the total location, dimension and the weight of the kidneys are smaller sized in females. Thus, both male and female should be cautious throughout their kidney transplantation.

 The major attributes of the kidneys are to:

Maintains the body’s pHReabsorption of nutrientsRegulates blood pressureExcretion of wastes from the bodyRemoval of excess fluid from the bodySecret hormones that help in the production of red blood cell, acid regulation, and so on.

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The sensible unit of the kidney is the nephron. Each kidney is composed of countless nephron which plays a significant duty in the filtration and also purification of blood. The nephron is divided right into 2 sections, namely, the glomerulus and the renal tubule and also helps in the removal of excess waste from the body.

Also Read: Regulation Of Kidney Function

Find Out even more about Nephron, its framework, function, renal tubule, renal corpuscles and also other associated topics at BYJU’S Biology