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Am J Physiol. 1981 Jul;241(1):F85-93.

Hyperfiltration in remnant nephrons: a potentially adverse response to renal ablation.


Micropuncture studies were performed in three groups of male Munich-Wistar rats 1 wk after surgery: group I, eight control rats that underwent laparotomy and were fed a normal diet; group II, nine rats that underwent right nephrectomy and segmental infarction of five-sixths of the left kidney and were fed a normal diet; and group III, seven rats that underwent the same renal ablative procedure and were fed a low protein diet. Single nephron glomerular filtration rate (SNGFR) was higher in the remnant kidney of group II rats compared with group I rats due to higher average values for mean glomerular transcapillary hydraulic pressure difference (delta P) and initial glomerular plasma flow rate (QA) in group II. Glomeruli in remnant kidneys of group II showed striking alterations in morphology, including epithelial cell protein reabsorption droplets, foot process fusion, and mesangial expansion. Group III rats demonstrated a mean SNGFR not statistically different from that of group I, but significantly less than that of group II rats. This lack of absolute hyperfiltration in remnant glomeruli of group III rats relative to group I obtained because QA and delta P did not increase above values found in group I. The glomerular structural lesions seen in group II were also largely attenuated in group III. These studies demonstrate that alterations in glomerular hemodynamics associated with renal ablation are accompanied by structural lesions and suggest that sustained single nephron hyperfiltration may have maladaptive consequences by damaging remnant glomeruli.

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