Effects of pregnancy on glomerular dynamics: Micropuncture study in the rat

A. Del Canton, G. Conte, C. Esposito

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Glomerular dynamics were investigated by micropuncture in 15-day pregnant Munich-Wistar rats. Female non-pregnant rats were used as control. In hydropenia, single nephron glomerular filtration rate (SNGFR) averaged 37.2 nl/min/g kidney weight in pregnant rats, and 26.2 nl/min/g kidney weight in controls (P <0.0005). During pregnancy, mean glomerular plasma flow (GPE) rose from 63.0 to 104.5 nl/min (P <0.0005), and glomerular capillary hydrostatic pressure (P(G)) from 44.8 to 50.6 mm Hg (P <0.0005). This rise in P(G) accounted for an increase in effective filtration pressure (EFP). Mean EFP at the different end of the glomerulus rose from near zero to 9.7 mm Hg, indicating filtration pressure disequilibrium. After extracellular fluid volume expansion with saline, GPF and EFP were still greater during pregnancy. A filtration pressure disequilibrium occurred also in non-pregnant rats, allowing calculation of definite values of the ultrafiltration coefficient (K(f)). During pregnancy, mean K(f) was reduced from 0.0332 to 0.0285 nl/(sec.mm Hg) (P <0.005). SNGFR was moderately, but not significantly, increased. These results show that during pregnancy glomerular dynamics is characterized by a rise in GPF and EFP, and by a reduction in K(f). Following these changes, a plasma-flow dependent rise in SNGFR occurs in hydropenia. After expansion, instead, SNGFR is unmodified because the dependence of ultrafiltration on plasma-flow declines while the influence of K(r) increases at high values of GPF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-612
Number of pages5
JournalKidney International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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