Differential effects of diabetes and glomerulonephritis on glomerular basement membrane composition

Douglas K. Brees, Florence N. Hutchison, Gregory J. Cole, James C. Williams

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7 Scopus citations


The hallmark of renal diseases involving the glomerulus is the presence of proteinuria. While the routes of pathogenesis of proteinuria have not been established, alterations in the barrier function of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) have been implicated. We evaluated the effect of streptozotocin diabetes and passive Heymann nephritis (PHN) over time on the macromolecular composition of rat GBM to determine if changes in composition correlate with proteinuria. Six to twelve rats from each group (control, diabetic, and PHN) were sacrificed 1, 5, 28, 56, or 84 days after induction of disease. Identical amounts of GBM were subjected to a sequential extraction procedure, and type IV collagen, entactin, laminin, fibronectin, and anionic charge content were quantitated in the extracts. Type IV collagen and entactin content did not change with time or disease. Both laminin and fibronectin contents increased with time in GBM in all groups, but this increase was significantly greater in diabetic GBM. A significant decrease in anionic charge content of GBM coincided with the onset of albuminuria at Day 28 in diabetes, but no change was seen in PHN. In diabetic rats, the increase in laminin content over control preceded the onset of albuminuria, while the increase in fibronectin was not apparent until after albuminuria was present. In PHN, no differences in type IV collagen, antactin, laminin, fibronectin, or anionic charge content of GBM were found compared with control, even though profound albuminuria was evident from Day 5 through 84. Thus, while alterations in laminin and fibronectin content may contribute to the loss of glomerular permselectivity in streptozotocin diabetes, such changes apparently are not involved in PHN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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