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Distal convoluted tubule
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If we take a cross-section of the kidney, there are two main parts, the outer cortex and the inner medulla.
If we zoom in, there are millions of tiny tubes called nephrons which go from the outer cortex down into the medulla and back out into the cortex again.
Nephrons filter out harmful substances in the blood so that we can excrete them into the urine.
Each nephron is made up of the glomerulus, or a tiny clump of capillaries, where blood filtration begins. These capillaries have very thin walls and they act like a coffee filter. Red blood cells and proteins are large and stay in the capillaries whereas blood plasma and smaller particles get filtered out.
This filtrate, called tubular fluid, collects in a cup shaped structure containing the glomerulus called the Bowman's capsule.
Together, the glomerulus and the Bowman’s capsule make up the renal corpuscle.
The Bowman’s capsule is connected to the renal tubule which has a few segments: the proximal convoluted tubule, the U- shaped loop of Henle with a descending and ascending limb, and the distal convoluted tubule which empties into the collecting duct, which collects the urine.
On one side is the apical surface which faces the tubular lumen. On the other side is the basolateral surface, which faces the interstitium or the space between the tubule and the peritubular capillaries.
The early distal convoluted tubule is impermeable to water, and the tubular fluid contains more sodium than the tubule cells so sodium ends up flowing down its concentration gradient into the tubule cells using various protein channels.
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