Image: cortex and part of the medulla of a rat kidney. The components of the nephron can be observed. Hematoxylin and eosin staining.
Renal corpuscle: the first filtration of the blood plasma takes place in the renal corpuscle. It is composed of the glomerulus, which is the capillary plexus, and the bowman's capsule.
Urinary pole: it is the point of the glomerulus by which the filtrate exits the glomerulus and reaches the proximal convoluted tubule.
Vascular pole: it is the point of the renal corpuscle where the blood enters the glomerulus driven by capillaries. It is also the point where exit capillaries conduct the blood out of the renal corpuscle.
Yuxtaglomerular apparatus: it is found in the vascular pole. The yuxtaglomerular apparatus consists of specialized cells of the distal convoluted tubule, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. It is controlling the blood flux coming in and going out of the glomerulus.
Glomerulus: it is the plexus of capillaries found within the renal corpuscle. The glomerulus is wrapped by the visceral layer of the Bowman's capsule. This layer is formed of podocytes. Between podocytes and the capillary endothelium, there is a thick basement membrane. Both basement membrane and podocytes are involved in blood plasma filtration, because the capillary endothelium is fenestrated, that is, there are gaps between adjacent endothelial cells that led the blood plasma to freely cross the endothelium.
Bowman's space: it is the cavity of the bowman's capsule that collects the first filtrate of the glomerulus. The bowman's capsule is limited by the inner visceral layer, coating the glomerulus, and by the outer parietal layer, and it leads to the proximal convoluted tubule through the urinary pole.
Parietal layer: it is the outer layer of the Bowman's capsule. The parietal layer is continuous with to the proximal convoluted tubule.
Proximal tubule: it is the duct that receives the filtrate from the Bowman's capsule and drives it toward the loop of Henle. The proximal tubule is formed of a convoluted and a straight segment.
Proximal convoluted tubule: it is the proximal segment that receives the renal corpuscle filtrate. The proximal convoluted tubule cells show basal nuclei, eosinophil cytoplasm and bears microvilli in the apical plasma membrane.
Proximal straight tubule: it is the distal part of the proximal tubule that communicates with the then limb of the loop of Henle. The limits between cells are more patent than in the convoluted segment.
Distal tubule: it gathers the filtrate from thin limb of the loop of Henle and drives it toward the collector tubules. The distal tubule consists of a straight and convoluted segment.
Distal straight tubule: it is the part of the distal tubule that receives the filtrate from the thin limb of the loop of Henle.
Distal convoluted tubule: it is the part of the distal tubule that leads to the collector tubules.
Thin limb of the loop of Henle: it is the tubular segment of the loop of Henle with the wall made up op very thin flattened cells. The thin limb of the loop of Henle communicates the straight segments of both the proximal and distal tubules.
Collector tubule: it is the duct that collects the final filtrate of the nephron and drives it toward the renal papilla.