The Loop of Henle

The function of the loop of Henle (HEN-lee) is closely related to that of the collecting duct. Water moves out of the collecting duct because the concentration of sodium chloride is higher in the fluid surrounding the collecting duct than it is in the fluid inside the collecting duct. This high concentration of sodium chloride is created and maintained by the loop of Henle. Cells in the wall of the loop transport chloride ions from the filtrate to the fluid between the loops and the collecting duct. Positively charged sodium ions follow the chloride ions into the fluid. This process ensures that the sodium chloride concentration of the fluid between the loops and the collecting duct remains high and thus promotes the reabsorption of water from the collecting duct.

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