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Jens Randel Nyengaard

Glomerular number and function are influenced by spontaneous and induced low birth weight in rats

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  • Michiel F Schreuder, VU University Medical Center, Netherlands
  • Jens Randel Nyengaard
  • M Fodor, Netherlands
  • Joanna A. E. van Wijk, VU University Medical Center, Netherlands
  • H.A. Delemarre-van de Waal, Netherlands
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
  • The Department of Pathology - ÅKH
  • Stereological Research Laboratory
A link exists between low birth weight and diseases in adulthood, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) has been used to explain this association and has been shown to lead to a nephron endowment in humans. A reduction in glomerular number has been described in animal models with induced low birth weight as well but not in animals with spontaneous low birth weight. It therefore is debatable whether the models are suitable. The effect on glomerular number and size was studied in rats with naturally occurring IUGR and experimental IUGR, induced by bilateral uterine artery ligation. Design-based stereologic methods were used. Urinary protein excretion was determined as a measure of renal damage. Results showed a decrease of approximately 20% in glomerular number in both groups of IUGR (control 35,400, naturally occurring IUGR 30,900, and experimental IUGR 28,000 glomeruli per kidney). Mean glomerular volume was increased in both IUGR groups, which was associated with an increased proteinuria. It is concluded that IUGR leads to a nephron endowment with a compensatory glomerular enlargement. This compensation is associated with more proteinuria in the long run. Uterine artery ligation in the pregnant rat is a suitable model to study the effects of IUGR on the kidney.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Pages (from-to)2913-2919
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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