The Kidney

Topic 11.3

11.3.1 - 11.3.3: The human kidney

Excretion is the removal from the body of the waste products of metabolic pathways and is carried out by the kidney (shown below). The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron which carries out ultrafiltration, reabsorption and secretion in the production of urine.

Placing your mouse pointer on the figure below will show the structures and functions of different parts of the nephron.

Structure of the human kidney

11.3.4: Ultrafiltration by the glomerulus

During ultrafiltration, water and all other molecules (e.g., NaCl, glucose, urea and some drugs) small enough to be forced through papillary wall enters Bowman's capsule from the glomerulus. Shown below is the structures of the glomerulus capillary wall.
How do these structures help produce filtrate during ultrafiltration?

Placing your mouse pointer on the figure below will show how the structures help produce filtrate.

Glomerulus structure and ultrafiltration

11.3.5 & 11.3.6: The proximal convoluted tubules

Osmoregulation is the control of water balance of the blood, tissue or cytoplasm of a living organism.

Proximal convoluted tubules

11.3.7: Maintaining the water balance in the blood

The orientation of a nephron within the kidney helps in producing the necessary concentration gradients around the nephron to allow the movement of water and NaCl in and out of the different tubules of the nephron.

Function of Loop of Henle and Collecting Duct

11.3.8: Differences in concentrations of proteins, glucose and urea between the blood plasma, glomerular filtrate and urine?

Compare and explain the differences in concentrations of proteins, glucose and urea between the blood plasma, glomerular filtrate and urine

Placing your mouse pointer on the figure below will show how the comparison between fluids.

Comparing fluids in nephron tubules

11.3.9: Glucose in the urine?

Use the graph below and your knowledge of how urine is produced by the nephron to explain why glucose can be found in the urine.

Graph of Glucose vs Urine

Explanation of glucose in the urine

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Explanation of glucose in urine
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