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Nephron. 1993;65(2):227-31.

Tubular secretion of Tamm-Horsfall protein is decreased in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Signs of glomerular, proximal and distal tubular dysfunction as well as metabolic control were studied in type 1 diabetes mellitus. To that end, the urinary excretion rates of albumin, sodium, phosphate and Tamm-Horsfall protein as well as HbA1c levels were measured in 20 patients with different degrees of diabetic nephropathy (positive Albustix for several years). Eight diabetic patients with short duration of diabetes and without any diabetic complications and 10 apparently healthy subjects were studied for comparison. The HbA1c levels in the three groups were 8.6 +/- 1.2, 5.9 +/- 2.2 and 4.1 +/- 0.4%, respectively (mean +/- SD). Duration of diabetes in the two diabetic groups were 27 +/- 7 and 3 +/- 1 years, respectively. The urinary protein levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunoassays. The fractional clearance of sodium (1.9 +/- 1.9%; p < 0.001) and phosphate (27 +/- 11%; p < 0.01) were increased in patients with diabetic nephropathy compared to diabetic patients without nephropathy (0.6 +/- 0.2 and 16 +/- 4%) and healthy control subjects (0.6 +/- 0.1 and 16 +/- 4%, respectively). Tamm-Horsfall protein excretion rate was decreased in both diabetic groups (15.0x/3.1 and 37.9x/1.9 micrograms/min, geometric mean x/tolerance factor, p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively) compared to the healthy subjects (63.8x/1.3 micrograms/min). Furthermore, patients with diabetic nephropathy had a lower excretion rate of Tamm-Horsfall protein (15.0x/3.1 micrograms/min) compared to patients without signs of nephropathy (37.9x/1.9 micrograms/min, p < 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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