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Changes within vascular bundles of rodent kidneys caused by different diets


Morphological effects caused by two different diets (low protein — high water intake, and high protein — restricted water) on the vascular bundles in the outer medullary zone of the kidney were studied in the laboratory white mouse and in the golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus, Muridae). In both rodents, when on a low protein — high water intake diet, considerable interstitial substance was found between the vasa recta of the bundles. No interstitial substance was found in animals on high protein — low water intake diet; as a result the vasa recta of the vascular bundle adhered closely. The low protein — high water intake diet caused a marked diuresis, low urine osmolality and low urinary urea concentration. It is assumed that the increase in interstitial substance between the vasa recta of the vascular bundle lowers the efficiency of the counter current barrier system for urea in the kidney and, as a consequence, the medullary urea gradient and urine concentrating capacity decreases. In animals on a high protein diet, the closely juxtaposed vasa recta assure an efficient countercurrent exchange, leading to accumulation and maintenance of a large urea gradient in the medulla and maximal urine concentration. It is suggested that the amount of interstitial material between the vasa recta of the vascular bundle might serve as a modulating factor for the urea concentration in the kidney.

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Correspondence to Dr. Duba Yaakobi.

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We would like to thank Prof. E. Kochva for his constructive criticism of the manuscript

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Yaakobi, D., Borut, A. Changes within vascular bundles of rodent kidneys caused by different diets. Cell Tissue Res. 181, 205–213 (1977).

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Key words

  • Rodent kidney
  • Vascular bundles
  • Countercurrent barrier system
  • Urea concentration
  • Light microscopy