RLO: The Anatomy of the Kidney


The Nephron

The functional unit of the kidney is called the nephron. It comprises of a coiled renal tubule and a vascular network of peritubular capillaries. The tubule consists of different regions, each with their own important function.

The nephron begins as a cup-like structure called the Bowman's capsule which is where the glomerulus sits. The Bowman's capsule opens into a coiled region of tube called the proximal convoluted tubule.

The tubule then thins and straightens out into the loop of Henle. It then coils again to form another region called the distal convoluted tubule. The distal tubule empties urine into the collecting duct.