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Life Sci. 1982 Feb 15-22;30(7-8):633-9.

Changes in glomerulotubular dimensions, single nephron glomerular filtration rates and the renin-angiotensin system in hypothyroid rats.


Glomerular diameters (GD) and lengths of attached proximal convoluted tubules (TPL) were measured in nephrons dissected from the superficial (S), intermediate and juxtamedullary (JM) cortex (7-15 each) of acid-macerated kidneys of weight-matched (E) euthyroid and (H) hypothyroid (2-6 months after radioiodine treatment or thyroidectomy) male Sherman-Wistar rats. Incoordination of growth in H rats was evident in a more marked retardation in kidney than in total body growth. A similar incoordination of microstructural growth was evident in maintenance or GD within normal limits with respect to body weight while attached TPL fell 23% on the average below control values relative to body weight. These changes affected the total nephron population uniformly. As a result, GD/TPL in all nephrons increased significantly (p less than 0.01), by 27% in S and by 29% in JM nephrons. The glomerulotubular dimensional imbalance was associated with a marked and uniformly distributed reduction in single nephron glomerular filtration rate (ferrocyanide method), by 36% in S and JM nephrons. Plasma renin activity fell within normal limits while plasma renin substrate was decreased to 56% of control values. These findings are construed as evidence that growth retardation in hypothyroid rats affects the parenchyma of the kidney (and perhaps other viscera) more than the vasculature.

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