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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):F1533-8. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

Size and charge selectivity of the glomerular filter in early experimental diabetes in rats.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


Microalbuminuria is an early sign of diabetic nephropathy. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the changes of the glomerular filtration barrier in early experimental diabetes are due to size- or charge-selective alterations. Wistar rats, made diabetic by streptozotocin (STZ) and having their blood glucose maintained at approximately 20 mM for 3 or 9 wk, were compared with age-matched controls. Glomerular clearances of native albumin (Cl-HSA) and neutralized albumin (Cl-nHSA) were assessed using a renal uptake technique. Glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow were assessed using (51)Cr-EDTA and [125I]iodohippurate, respectively. In a separate set of animals, diabetic for 9 wk, and in controls, glomerular sieving coefficients (theta) for neutral FITC-Ficoll (molecular radius: 15-90 A) were assessed using size exclusion chromatography. At 3 wk of diabetes, Cl-HSA and Cl-nHSA remained unchanged, indicating no alteration in either size or charge selectivity. By contrast, at 9 wk of diabetes, there was a twofold increase of Cl-HSA, whereas Cl-nHSA remained largely unchanged, at first suggesting a glomerular charge defect. However, according to a two-pore model, the number of large pores, assessed from both Ficoll and Cl-HSA, increased twofold. In addition, a small reduction in proximal tubular reabsorption was observed at 3 wk, which was further reduced at 9 wk. In conclusion, no functional changes were observed in the glomerular filtration barrier at 3 wk of STZ-induced diabetes, whereas at 9 wk there was a decrease in size selectivity due to an increased number of large glomerular pores.

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