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Nephron of the kidney without juxtaglomerular apparatus
A juxtamedullary nephron is a type of nephron, found only in birds and mammals. Medullary refers to the renal medulla, while the juxta (Latin: near) refers to the relative position of the renal corpuscle, which in these nephrons is near the medulla. In other words, a juxtamedullary nephron is one where the renal corpuscle is close to the medulla, and the proximal convoluted tubule and its associated loop of Henle occur at a deep position compared to most other nephrons.
This type of nephron is relatively rare, and only comprise 20–30% of the nephrons in the human kidney. However, in most depictions of the nephron, it is a juxtamedullary nephron which is depicted. The greater gradient in the deep medulla make this type of nephron do more "work" than more shallow nephrons, and their vertical nature makes them easier to illustrate. It is these nephrons which are responsible for the development of the osmotic gradients in the renal medulla, which are used to concentrate urine.
- "Regulation of Urine Concentration". Anatomy & Physiology. CliffsNotes. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Physiology: 7/7ch03/7ch03p16 - Essentials of Human Physiology
- Diagram at mcgill.ca
- Diagram at clinic-clinic.com (Juxtamedullary at left)