- A key unit, both anatomically and functionally, of the kidney.
* * *A long convoluted tubular structure in the kidney, consisting of the renal corpuscle, the proximal convoluted tubule, the nephronic loop, and the distal convoluted tubule. SEE ALSO: uriniferous tubule. [G. nephros, kidney]
* * *neph·ron 'nef-.rän n a single excretory unit esp. of the vertebrate kidney typically consisting of a Malpighian corpuscle, proximal convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule, collecting tubule, and vascular and supporting tissues and discharging by way of a renal papilla into the renal pelvis
* * *n.the active unit of excretion in the kidney. Blood, which is supplied by branches of the renal artery, is filtered through a knot of capillaries (glomerulus) into the cup-shaped Bowman's capsule so that water, nitrogenous waste, and many other substances (excluding colloids) pass into the renal tubule. Here most of the substances are reabsorbed back into the blood, the remaining fluid (urine) passing into the collecting duct, which drains into the ureter.
* * *neph·ron (nefґron) [Gr. nephros kidney + -on neuter ending] the anatomical and functional unit of the kidney, consisting of the renal corpuscle, the proximal convoluted tubule, the descending and ascending limbs of the loop of Henle (see ansa nephroni [TA]), the distal convoluted tubule, and the collecting tubule. See Plate 20.
Medical dictionary. 2011.