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Question

Question 13
Compare the functioning of alveoli in the lungs and nephrons in the kidneys with respect to their structure and functioning.

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Solution

Definitions:

  1. Alveoli refer to the many tiny air sacs of the lungs that allow the rapid exchange of respiratory gases. These alveoli are found in the respiratory system of mammals.
  2. A nephron is the functional unit of the kidney, i.e., the excretory system, that consists of the glomerulus and the associated tubules through which the glomerular filtrate passes before emerging as urine.

Structural differences:

AlveoliNephrons
Sac-like structure. Tubular structures.
Made up of simple squamous epithelium.Made up of cuboidal epithelium with micro-villi.
Surrounded by blood capillaries that link pulmonary arterioles and pulmonary veins. Surrounded by two types of capillaries: glomerules and peritubular capillaries.
Blood is supplied by pulmonary arterioles. Blood is supplied by afferent arterioles.
Supplies blood to pulmonary venules. Supplies blood to renal vein.


Functional differences:

Alveoli Nephrons
These are the functional units of the respiratory system. These are the functional unit of the excretory system.
The main function of alveoli is to provide sites for the gas exchange through the respiratory membrane in a process known as external respiration. Nephron serves as the basic filtration unit that produces urine from the blood.



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