Adjacent podocytes interdigitate to cover the basal lamina which is intimately associated with the glomerular capillaries, but the podocytes leave gaps or thin filtration slits.
The slits are covered by slit diaphragms which are composed of a number of cell-surface proteins including nephrin, podocalyxin, and P-cadherin, which ensure that large macromolecules such as serum albumin and gamma globulin remain in the bloodstream.
Small molecules such as water, glucose, and ionic salts are able to pass through the slit diaphragms and form an ultrafiltrate which is further processed by the nephron to produce urine.
Podocytes are also involved in regulation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). When podocytes contract, they cause closure of filtration slits. This decreases the GFR by reducing the surface area available for filtration.
Read more about this topic: Podocyte
Other articles related to "function, functions":
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Famous quotes containing the word function:
“Uses are always much broader than functions, and usually far less contentious. The word function carries overtones of purpose and propriety, of concern with why something was developed rather than with how it has actually been found useful. The function of automobiles is to transport people and objects, but they are used for a variety of other purposesas homes, offices, bedrooms, henhouses, jetties, breakwaters, even offensive weapons.”
—Frank Smith (b. 1928)
“The function of the actor is to make the audience imagine for the moment that real things are happening to real people.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“The function of muscle is to pull and not to push, except in the case of the genitals and the tongue.”
—Leonardo Da Vinci (14251519)