Each of our kidneys contains over a million nephrons. They are the functioning unit of the kidneys. They remove waste from the body and produce urine. Each nephron is made up of two parts: a renal corpuscle and renal tubules (Figure 1).
- This is the head of the nephron and it is where urine first forms.
- It consists of the glomerulus, which is surrounded by the Bowman’s capsule (figure 2).
- The glomerulus is like a network of capillaries. It look somewhat like a roll of yarn. The Bowman’s capsule, around the glomerulus, shapes like a funnel.
- Blood is filtered across the glomerular capillaries into Bowman’s space. This is the first step in the formation of urine. Filtrates then exits the Bowman’s space into the renal tubules
- Each renal corpuscle has two poles:
(b) Urinary pole: this is the area where filtrates produced by the glomerulus exits and enters the first part of the tubule.
- Filtrates from the glomerulus enters the tubules where urine continually forms.
- The tubule begins at the Bowman’s capsule and consists of various segments (Figure 1):
- Proximal convoluted tubule
- Proximal straight tubule
- Loop of Henle contains:
- thin descending limb
- thin ascending limb
- thick ascending limb
- Distal convoluted tubule
- The collecting ducts
- The renal tubules function in