loop of Henle

/hen"lee/, Anat.
the part of a nephron between the proximal and distal convoluted tubules that extends, in a loop, from the cortex into the medulla of the kidney. Also called Henle's loop.
[1880-85; named after F. G. J. Henle (1809-85), German pathologist]

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 long, U-shaped portion of the tubule that conducts urine within each nephron (q.v.) of the kidney of reptiles, birds, and mammals. The principal function of the loop of Henle appears to be the recovery of water and sodium chloride from the urine. This function allows production of urine that is far more concentrated than blood, limiting the amount of water needed as intake for survival. Many species that live in arid environments such as deserts have highly efficient loops of Henle.

      The liquid entering the loop is the solution of salt, urea, and other substances passed along by the proximal convoluted tubule, from which most of the dissolved components needed by the body—particularly glucose, amino acids, and sodium bicarbonate—have been reabsorbed into the blood. The first segment of the loop, the descending limb, is permeable to water, and the liquid reaching the bend of the loop is much richer than the blood plasma in salt and urea. As the liquid returns through the ascending limb, sodium chloride diffuses out of the tubule into the surrounding tissue, where its concentration is lower. In the third segment of the loop, the tubule wall can, if necessary, effect further removal of salt, even against the concentration gradient, in an active-transport process requiring the expenditure of energy. In a healthy person the reabsorption of salt from the urine exactly maintains the bodily requirement: during periods of low salt intake, virtually none is allowed to escape in the urine, but, in periods of high salt intake, the excess is excreted.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Loop of Henle — Scheme of renal tubule and its vascular supply. (Loop of Henle visible center left.) Latin ansa nephroni Gray s …   Wikipedia

  • loop of Henle — [hen′lē] n. pl. loops of Henle the long U shaped section of a nephron in the kidney, where urine is formed …   English World dictionary

  • loop of Henle — loop of Hen·le hen lē n the U shaped part of a vertebrate nephron that lies between and is continuous with the proximal and distal convoluted tubules, that leaves the cortex of the kidney descending into the medullary tissue and then bending back …   Medical dictionary

  • loop of Henle — loop′ of Hen′le [[t]ˈhɛn li[/t]] n. anat. the part of a kidney tubule that loops from the cortex into the medulla of the kidney • Etymology: 1880–85; after F. G. J. Henle (1809–85), German pathologist …   From formal English to slang

  • loop of henle — ˈhenlē, lə Usage: usually capitalized H Etymology: after F. G. J. Henle died 1885 German pathologist : the part of a vertebrate nephron that lies between the proximal and distal convoluted tubules, leaves the cortex of the kidney descending into… …   Useful english dictionary

  • loop of Henle — U shaped loop in the kidney discovered by Friedrich Gustav Jacob Henle …   English contemporary dictionary

  • loop of Henle — Etymology: F. G. J. Henle died 1885 German pathologist Date: 1890 a U shaped part of the nephron of birds and mammals that lies between and is continuous with the proximal and distal convoluted tubules and that functions in water resorption …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • loop of Henle — [ hɛnli] noun the part of a kidney tubule from which water and salts are resorbed into the blood. Origin C19: named after the German anatomist F. G. J. Henle …   English new terms dictionary

  • Descending limb of loop of Henle — Scheme of renal tubule and its vascular supply. (Labeled at center left.) …   Wikipedia

  • Thick ascending limb of loop of Henle — Scheme of renal tubule and its vascular supply. (Labeled at center left.) …   Wikipedia

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