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Ascending limb of loop of Henle

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Title: Ascending limb of loop of Henle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: External sphincter muscle of female urethra, Ureteropelvic junction, Medullary ray (anatomy), Orifice of ureter, Neck of urinary bladder
Collection: Kidney Anatomy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Ascending limb of loop of Henle

Ascending limb of loop of henil
Scheme of renal tubule and its vascular supply. (Labeled at center left.)
Nephron ion flow diagram
Details
Latin tubulus rectus distalis, pars recta tubuli distalis
Dorlands
/Elsevier
t_22/12830078
Anatomical terminology

The ascending limb of loop of Henle is a segment of the nephron in the kidney divided into a thin and thick ascending limb (also known as distal straight tubule).

Contents

  • Structure 1
    • Histology 1.1
  • Function 2
    • Thin ascending limb 2.1
    • Thick ascending limb 2.2

Structure

The ascending limb of the loop of Henle is a direct continuation from the descending limb of loop of Henle, and one of the structures in the nephron of the kidney. The ascending limb has a thin and a thick segment. The ascending limb drains urine into the distal convoluted tubule.

The thin ascending limb is found in the medulla of the kidney, and the thick ascending limb can be divided into a part that is in the renal medulla and a part that is in the renal cortex. The ascending limb is much thicker than the descending limb.

Histology

As in the descending limb, the epithelium is simple squamous epithelium.

Function

Thin ascending limb

The thin ascending limb is impermeable to water and ions, except sodium and chloride which cross by diffusion.

Thick ascending limb

Functionally, the parts of the ascending limb in the medulla and cortex are very similar.

The medullary ascending limb remains impermeable to water. Sodium (Na+), potassium (K+) and chloride (Cl) ions are reabsorbed by active transport. K+ is passively transported along its concentration gradient through a K+ leak channel in the apical aspect of the cells, back into the lumen of the ascending limb. This K+ "leak" generates a positive electrochemical potential difference in the lumen. This drives more paracellular reabsorption of Na+, as well as other cations such as magnesium (Mg2+) and importantly calcium Ca2+ due to charge repulsion.

This is also the part of the tubule that generates Tamm-Horsfall protein. The function of this protein is not well understood, but is responsible for creating

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