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Am J Pathol. 1987 Oct;129(1):64-73.

The pathophysiology of protein-overload proteinuria.

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Department of Pathology, State University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


Alterations in glomerular function and structure were studied in protein-overload nephrosis in the rat induced by intraperitoneal administration of bovine serum albumin (BSA). Fractional clearance (C/GFR) studies using inulin and tracer proteins of different molecular size and charge revealed in proteinuric rats 1) unchanged glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow; 2) a 34-fold increase in C/GFR of rat serum albumin, reaching values similar to BSA; 3) a 2-fold increase in C/GFR for anionic horse radish peroxidase (HRP), but normal values for neutral and cationic HRP, and 4) an 11- and 3-fold increase for heterologous IgG and IgM, respectively. Glomerular epithelial cells showed degenerative changes, but the distribution of anionic sites in the glomerular basement membrane was found to be unaltered, as determined by polyethyleneimine binding studies. In summary, an elevation of serum albumin concentration resulted in an increased transcapillary albumin transport. This was found to lead to degenerative changes of glomerular epithelial cells with development of large pore defects, which were completely reversible.

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