Where diuretics work in the nephron

The nephron is composed of distinct areas that are specific to regulating different electrolytes.

An overview of nephron anatomy

Loop diuretics: blocks the sodium/potassium/chloride transporter in the ascending loop of Henle, potassium-wasting
Thiazide diuretics: blocks the sodium/chloride transporter in the distal tubule, potassium-wasting
Amiloride: directly blocks sodium channels in the collecting duct, potassium-sparing
Spironolactone: blocks the aldosterone receptors in the cortical collecting duct. This causes a decrease in sodium and water reabsorption and decreases potassium secreting (therefore is potassium-sparing)

6 thoughts on “Where diuretics work in the nephron

  1. I love your animations- just discovered them and am covering Renal in med school right now. a huge help to understand the Big Picture! keep it up! we hit G.I. and Reproductive next .. haven’t seen if you cover any of those topics

    • Thanks, Miller. As for GI and reproductive, there are a couple images including blood supply to the GI tract and cholecystitis and a couple things on the menstrual cycle.

  2. Not bad intro sketches. One mistake is under TAL of loop you marked the N/K ATPase as the reason for potassium lose. It is at N/K/Cl cotransporter because it is block by the loop diuretic like you have labeled. 25% of filtered K+ isn’t reabsorbed once blocked by a loop diuretic. Otherwise strong work.

    Renal Fellow.

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