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


Anitha Dunga : Subject Matter Expert at Edumarz

 Solution : Alveoli is the structural and functional unit of lungs which are the organs of the respiratory system. Whereas nephron is the structural and functional unit of the kidney which are the organs of the excretory system.

Structural and functional comparison of alveoli in lungs and nephron in kidneys.

Alveoli in lungs

Nephron in kidneys


Alveoli are tiny balloon-like structures that are present inside the lungs.


Nephrons are the tube-like structures that are present inside the kidneys.

The walls of alveoli are thick. They are the smallest structures of the respiratory system.

The walls of nephron have cuboidal cell layers.

Alveoli contains an excessive network of blood capillaries surrounding them.

Nephron is made up of glomerulus, bowman’s capsule, and long renal tubule. It contains a cluster of thin walled capillaries.


In alveoli the blood exchanges carbon dioxide and oxygen. 

Alveoli present in the respiratory system and involve the process of breathing in and breathing out. 

Alveoli pumps blood through our body. Alveoli provides a maximum surface for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen gasses.


Blood is supplied to the kidney through the renal arteries. 

These renal artery branches are divided into many capillaries and enter into glomerulus. 

Water and other nutrients and some ions are transported to the nephron at Bowman’s capsule. 

Now the filtrate moves through the proximal tubule, henle’s loop, and then into distal tubule. 

From distal tubule filtrate is collected to the collecting duct. 

This collecting duct of all the nephrons collects the urine and passes to the urethra. 

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