Preparations of distinct nephron segments were obtained from dog kidneys by collagenase treatment. Four morphologically different tissues were isolated: glomeruli, proximal tubules, thick ascending limbs, and papillary collecting ducts. Each segment possessed a characteristic assay of membrane-bound and cytoplasmic enzymes. Specific metabolic characteristics also were found: gluconeogenesis and ammoniagenesis in proximal tubules, glycolytic aerobic metabolism in thick ascending limbs, and glycolytic anaerobic metabolism in papillary collecting ducts. The assay of Na+ -K+ ATPase, H+ -ATPase, and Ca2+ -ATPase activities in these nephron segments demonstrated a specific enrichment of Na+ -K+ ATPase in thick ascending limbs, and of H+ -ATPase in proximal tubules and papillary collecting ducts. Tubular respiration in the absence or presence of ouabain, 1,3-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, or furosemide demonstrated that the respiration of each segment could be correlated to the activity of specific ion motive ATPases. Furthermore, a tight coupling between ion transport, ATP turnover, and substrate oxidation was demonstrated. These isolated tubular structures are thus viable and capable of transepithelial transport. Our preparation provides large amounts of defined population of tubules and are thus useful for the study of biochemical and functional heterogeneity along the nephron.