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Am J Vet Res. 1991 Aug;52(8):1357-65.

Effect of dietary protein on functional, morphologic, and histologic changes of the kidney during compensatory renal growth in dogs.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 80602.


Two diets similar in caloric density and mineral content, but markedly different in protein content, were used to study the effects of dietary protein on renal function and morphologic and histopathologic changes in dogs that had functional renal tissue reduced by seven-eights nephrectomy. The effects of moderate protein intake (MPrI = 15% protein; dry-matter basis) and high-protein intake (HPrI = 31% protein; dry-matter basis) were studied for the initial 7 months (period 1 [P1]) after renal mass reduction. Diets were then switched between groups during the following 7 months (period 2 [P2]) to evaluate the effects of increased or decreased protein intake. The HPrI caused significantly (P less than 0.05) greater glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal growth than did MPrI during P1. Dogs that maintained HPrI during P1 and MPrI during P2 (group 1) had significant (P less than 0.05) reduction in GFR during P2. Dogs that maintained MPrI during P1 and HPrI during P2 (group 2) had significant (P less than 0.05) improvement in GFR and renal growth during P2. At the end of the study, renal reserve was evaluated in both groups of dogs before and after group 1 was returned to HPrI for 2 weeks. During this 2-week feeding trial, group-1 dogs had marked improvement in renal reserve, relative to group 2, and GFR increased to the terminal P1 values. Results indicate a possible residual benefit from HPrI during the early phase of compensatory renal growth in the form of functional compensatory memory to HPrI. The severity of renal lesions was indistinguishable between dogs of dietary groups during both study phases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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