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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Apr 7;1672(1):1-11.

Changes in cat urinary glycosaminoglycans with age and in feline urologic syndrome.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Três de Maio 100, Sao Paulo 04044-020, Brazil.


The aim of the present study was to characterize the urinary excretion of glycosaminoglycans in kittens and adult healthy cats, as well as in cats with a low urinary tract disease, the feline urologic syndrome (FUS). The main urinary glycosaminoglycan in cats was found to be chondroitin sulfate, with smaller amounts of dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate. There was no difference in the urinary glycosaminoglycan concentration with sex, but a marked decrease occurred with age, due to chondroitin sulfate. Trace amounts of keratan sulfate were also detected in the urine of kittens, but not of healthy adult cats. Dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate were the only glycosaminoglycans found in the urinary tract and kidney, and chondroitin sulfate was the only glycosaminoglycan found in the plasma. These data suggest that the main urinary glycosaminoglycan chondroitin sulfate is of systemic origin and filtered in the kidney, while the minor components dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate may come from the urinary tract. The urinary glycosaminoglycan concentration was greatly decreased in animals with FUS, as compared to normal adults. We hypothesize that these low glycosaminoglycan levels reflect a damage to the bladder surface, resulting in absorption and/or degradation of the endogenous urinary glycosaminoglycans.

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