EXCRETORY SYSTEMS AND SALT AND WATER BALANCE

NOTES

Terrestrial animals tend to lose body water to the air through dehydration and must conserve water.

Vertebrates use the pressure-driven filtration system of the kidney, possible only with their closed circulatory system. Certain small molecules are selectively reabsorbed in the kidneys to help conserve water.

Mammalian kidneys are able to produce urine that is more concentrated than their blood plasma, efficiently reabsorbing water from the filtrate. Nitrogenous wastes must be eliminated from the body.

Mammalian kidneys are paired organs with functionally and structurally distinct outer cortex and inner medulla. The mammalian nephron begins in the renal cortex where a mass of glomerular capillaries are surrounded by the Bowman’s capsule. Glomerular filtrate passes from the capsule to the proximal convoluted tubule and into the distal convoluted tubule. One of the key characteristics of the mammalian nephron is the hair-pin-curved loop of Henle. Several nephrons empty into a single collecting duct that empties into the funnel-shaped renal pelvis. Most of the water filtered through the kidney is reabsorbed, a consequence of salt reabsorption. Glucose and amino acids are reabsorbed through active transport carriers. Other foreign molecules and waste products are actively secreted from the nephron.

Humans filter vast quantities of liquid through their kidneys. Two-thirds of the water and NaCl is immediately reabsorbed in the proximal tubule, the final third of water is reabsorbed in the collecting duct. The loop of Henle descends deeply into the hypertonic renal medulla. A

Aldosterone stimulates reabsorption of sodium in the distal convoluted tubule. which passes into the renal medulla followed by more water. reabsorption. Plasma salt balance is regulated by production of aldosterone by the adrenal gland. As a result. . Describe the main parts of a nephron. Explain the significance of the loop of Henle in mammalian kidneys. This dilutes the blood and returns its osmolarity to normal. and secretion. ADH causes the collecting ducts to become more permeable to urea. whole body sodium increases. LEARNING OUTCOMES Principles of Fluid Filtration and Waste Excretion   Define reabsorption and secretion. Explain the actions of ADH and aldosterone. as does overall water retention. Explain the difference between filtrate and urine. even more water leaves the filtrate via osmosis and reenters the bloodstream. An increase in the osmolality of the blood plasma triggers a sensation of thirst and stimulates ADH secretion. Structure and Function of the Mammalian Kidney        Name the primary components of the kidney. Describe the different kinds of nitrogenous waste and their relative toxicity. decreasing the amount lost in the urine. Therefore. Describe the actions of filtration. The extracellular fluid in the renal medulla becomes hyperosmotic to the filtrate in the collecting duct. The collecting duct is permeable to urea. The overall solute concentration of the blood is regulated by altering the hypothalamic output of antidiuretic hormone. The collecting tubule contains a very concentrated filtrate especially high in urea. Trace the changes in filtrate osmolarity through the mammalian excretory system.countercurrent flow results where the filtrate passing through the descending limb loses water to the renal medulla because of the salts transported out of the ascending limb.

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