We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Distal Convoluted Tubule?

By H. Colledge
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A distal convoluted tubule is a twisted, tube-like structure about 0.2 inches (around 5 mm) in length, found inside a part of the kidney known as a nephron. Each kidney contains many nephrons, and these are the functional units in which blood is filtered to form urine. One nephron is made up of a renal corpuscle, containing tiny blood vessels where blood is filtered, and a renal tubule. A renal tubule consists of three different sections, which carry the filtered fluid, or filtrate, away from the kidney while processing it to create urine. The distal convoluted tubule is the section farthest away from the renal corpuscle, and the cells that line it are able to actively pump potentially harmful substances, such as ammonia, urea and certain drugs, out of the blood and into the urine.

Each kidney contains more than one million nephrons and, together, the kidneys can filter all of the body's blood within about five minutes. Blood passes into the renal corpuscle inside a nephron and enters a knot of tiny blood vessels, known as a glomerulus, at relatively high pressure. It filters through gaps in the blood vessel walls and then through slits in the wall of the capsule that cups the glomerulus, draining into a space inside the capsule. Large molecules cannot pass through and remain in the blood, while water and dissolved waste products end up inside the capsule space. From there they drain into the renal tubule and the process of urine formation takes place.

Inside the first section of the renal tubule, called the proximal convoluted tubule, useful nutrients and minerals are absorbed from the filtrate, together with water. These pass into surrounding blood vessels to be returned to the general circulation. Next, within the section known as the loop of Henle, the concentration and volume of the filtrate are regulated to maintain the body's fluid balance.

Finally, inside the distal convoluted tubule, useful substances are returned to the blood, while waste products and toxins are added to the filtrate. Hydrogen is also pumped in, making the urine pH more acidic. The distal convoluted tubule walls do not normally allow water to pass through, but a hormone known as antidiuretic hormone, or ADH, can open channels which allow water to move out, concentrating the urine.

From the distal convoluted tubule, filtrate drains into what are known as collecting ducts. These are tubes which receive filtrate from the distal convoluted tubules of many nephrons. Inside these collecting ducts, water can be absorbed to regulate the final concentration of urine produced by the kidneys. On leaving the collecting ducts, urine enters a space known as the renal pelvis, from where it passes into the bladder and is expelled from the body during urination.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SimpleByte — On Feb 23, 2014

@Nefertini - Good advice. Drinking water helps the kidneys filter out the urea and other potentially harmful substances through its tubules. Caffeine overconsumption, in contrast, has a dehydrating effect on the body and can promote the development of kidney stones.

By Nefertini — On Feb 22, 2014

With diseases that can adversely affect the kidneys like diabetes and high blood pressure becoming more common, it's important to make health and fitness a priority. Keeping weight and blood pressure under control with exercise and a balanced diet along with drinking plenty of water will help your kidneys and the distal convoluted tubules do their work.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.