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Distal convoluted tubule

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The distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is the tortuous, final segment of the renal tubule of the nephron, situated between the nephron loop (of Henle) and the connecting tubules. It is located within the cortex of the kidney, and is a direct continuation of the distal straight tubule (a.k.a. thick ascending limb of nephron loop). Numerous DCTs from neighboring nephrons drain tubular fluid into connecting tubules, which in turn feed into the collecting duct system. 

Similar to the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT), the DCT is composed of simple cuboidal epithelium, however in contrast, it is shorter (5cm), has very few microvilli and although it still has large numbers of mitochondria, they are less than in the PCT.

Reabsorption and secretion still occur in the DCT, albeit to a lesser degree than in the PCT. The DCT selectively reabsorbs ions such as sodium, chloride and calcium from the tubular fluid, while potassium is secreted. The DCT also regulates pH levels by reabsorbing bicarbonate and secreting hydrogen ions. 

Terminology English: Distal convoluted tubule
Latin: Pars convoluta tubuli distalis
Definition Distal coiled tubular component of the nephron 
Function Selective secretion and absorption of ions (sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium) to maintain pH and electrolyte balance

Learn more about the nephron and kidneys with this study unit (and article):

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