Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Autoradiographic studies on the proliferation of glomerular and tubular cells of the rat kidney in early diabetes

  • 25 Accesses

  • 12 Citations


Although Østerby and coworkers have shown that the onset of diabetes is associated with glomerular hypertrophy and enlargement of the filtration surface, the pathogenesis of this lesion and the behaviour of the glomerular tuft cells during the increase in glomerular filtration surface area remain unclear.

Autoradiography and electron microscopic morphometry in kidneys of male Sprague-Dawley rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes indicate that glomerular enlargement is combined with glomerular cell hyperplasia. 6 days after continuous3H-thymidine infusion there is a significant increase in DNA-synthesis in tuft cells indicating cell proliferation. Since podocyte volume only increases in acute diabetes (as shown by Østerby and Gundersen in 1980), and the mean podocyte nuclear area remains unchanged, we conclude that the increased DNA-synthesis results in podocyte hypercellularity so that an increased glomerular filtration surface area can be covered by a greater number of cells.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Golub LM, Greenwald RA, Zebrowski EJ, Ramamurthy NS (1978) The Effect of Experimental Diabetes on the Molecular Characteristics of Soluble Rat-Tail Tendon Collagen. Biochem Biophys Acta 534:73–81

  2. Jensen PK, Sandahl Christiansen J, Steven K, Parving HH (1981) Renal Function in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats. Diabetologia 21:409–414

  3. Kroustrup JP, Gundersen HJ, Østerby R (1977) Glomerular size and structure in Diabetes Mellitus. III. Early Enlargement of the Capillary Surface. Diabetologia 13:207–210

  4. Little JR, Brecher G, Bradley TR, Rose S (1962) Determination of lymphocyte turnover by continuous infusion of3H-thymidine. Blood 19:236–242

  5. McFarlane D (1941) Experimental phosphate nephritis in the rat. J Pathol Bact 52:17–24

  6. Østerby R (1972) Morphometric studies of the peripheral glomerular basement membrane in early juvenile diabetes. I. Development of initial basement membrane thickening. Diabetologia 8:84–92

  7. Østerby R, Gundersen HJG (1975) Glomerular Size and Structure in Diabetes Mellitus. I. Early Abnormalities. Diabetologia 11:225–229

  8. Østerby R, Gundersen HJG (1978) The Glomerular Basement Membrane in Early Diabetes: Increase in Total Basement Membrane Material Versus Increase in Thickness. Pathol Biol 26:191–191

  9. Østerby R, Gundersen HJG (1980) Fast accumulation of basement membrane material and the rate of morphological changes in acute experimental diabetic glomerular hypertrophy. Diabetologia 18:493–500

  10. Romen W, Heine WD (1972) Nierenparenchymveränderungen bei 5÷6-nephrektomierten Ratten. Virchows Arch [Pathol Anat] 356:42–57

  11. Romen W, Lange HW, Hempel K, Heck Th (1981) Studies on collagen metabolism in rats. II. Turnover and amino acid composition of the collagen of glomerular basement membrane in diabetes mellitus. Virchows Arch [Cell Pathol] 36:313–320

  12. Schultze B, Löbbecke EA, Maurer W (1968) Autoradiographische Untersuchungen zur Variabilität der Generationszeit von fetalen Zellarten der Ratte mit Hilfe von Dauerinfusion mit 3H-Thymidin. Acta Histochem, Suppl VIII, 351–356

  13. Weibel ER (1969) Stereological Principles for Morphometry in Electron Microscopic Cytology. Int Rev Cytol 26:235–302

  14. Weibel ER (1979) Stereological methods, vol 1. Practical methods for biological morphometry. Academic Press, London, New York, Toronto, pp 1–415

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to W. Romen.

Additional information

Dedicated to Prof. Dr. G. Dhom on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday

The project is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Ro 443)

Stipend of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Romen, W., Takahashi, A. Autoradiographic studies on the proliferation of glomerular and tubular cells of the rat kidney in early diabetes. Virchows Archiv B Cell Pathol 40, 339 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02932875

Download citation

Key words

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glomerular hypertrophy
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Streptozotocin