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Kidney Int. 1991 Apr;39(4):647-52.

Renoprotective effect of low iron diet and its consequence on glomerular hemodynamics.

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Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Italy.


It has been reported that anemia limits renal injury in rats with reduced renal mass. We studied the effect of a low iron diet, given to reduce hematocrit, on urinary protein excretion and glomerular function in male MWF/Ztm rats, which spontaneously develop proteinuria and glomerular sclerosis. At 20 weeks of age, micropuncture and glomerular volume measurements were performed in untreated rats fed standard chow and in rats fed an isocaloric diet with low iron (5 mg/kg) content. Two additional groups of rats were used for total kidney function and glomerular volume evaluation at 35 weeks of age. At 20 weeks of age animals on low iron diet showed significantly (P less than 0.01) reduced hematocrit (46 +/- 5% vs. 54 +/- 2%) and proteinuria (60 +/- 15 vs. 225 +/- 34 mg/24 hr) than control animals, and no statistically significant differences were observed in single nephron hemodynamics. At 35 weeks of age rats on low iron diet had significantly lower proteinuria than age matched controls (222 +/- 68 vs. 411 +/- 71 mg/24 hr, P less than 0.01) and developed less glomerular sclerosis (mean percentage of sclerotic glomeruli was respectively 14 +/- 7% and 31 +/- 17%, P less than 0.05). Glomerular volume was comparable in animals on the low iron diet and in controls both at 20 and 35 weeks of age. These data indicate that low iron diet protected male MWF/Ztm rats against glomerular injury without significant effects on glomerular hemodynamics and on glomerular volume.

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