, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 31–38 | Cite as

Diabetic glomerulopathy in the SHR/N-corpulent rat: role of dietary carbohydrate in a model of NIDDM

  • M. T. Velasquez
  • A. A. Abraham
  • P. L. Kimmel
  • T. Farkas-Szallasi
  • O. E. MichaelisIV


We evaluated the course of diabetes and nephropathy in the SHR/N-cp (corpulent) rat characterized by genetic obesity, non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM), and hypertension, and examined whether the nephropathy in this model is influenced by the type of carbohydrate intake. Two groups of obese and lean SHR/N-cp rats were fed diets containing 54 % carbohydrate, as either sucrose or starch for 3 months (group I) and 9 months (group II). After 3 months on either diet, group I obese rats had higher 2-h response serum glucose levels and urinary glucose excretion than lean rats. Sucrose feeding was associated with greater proteinuria and a higher percentage of abnormal glomeruli in obese rats. Morphometric evaluation of glomeruli (by computerized image analysis) showed greater mean renal corpuscular volume and mesangial fraction in obese than in lean rats fed similar diets. Mean renal corpuscular volume and mesangial fraction were also greater in sucrose-fed obese rats than in starch-fed obese rats. After 9 months, group II obese rats had substantial reductions in serum and urine glucose levels but they were still hyperinsulinaemic and showed more proteinuria than lean rats and a higher percentage of sclerotic glomeruli compared with group I obese rats. At this time, mean mesangial fraction but not renal corpuscular volume was still higher in obese than in lean rats. In group I obese rats, a significant correlation was found between mesangial fraction and urinary protein excretion (r= 0.67,p<0.05). In group II obese rats, renal corpuscular volume was correlated with percentage of glomerular sclerosis (r=0.60,p<0.05). Thus, obese SHR/N-cp rats develop persistent proteinuria and glomerulopathy marked by glomerular enlargement, increased mesangial matrix, and progressive glomerular sclerosis. Sucrose feeding accentuates mesangial expansion and glomerulosclerosis in obese rats. [Diabetologia (1995) 38: 31–38]

Key words

Carbohydrate diet glomerulus mesangial expansion obesity proteinuria sucrose non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus 



Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus


non-insulin-dependent diabetes




periodic acid-Schiff

H and E



periodic acid methenamine


renal corpuscular volume


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. T. Velasquez
    • 2
  • A. A. Abraham
    • 2
  • P. L. Kimmel
    • 2
  • T. Farkas-Szallasi
    • 2
  • O. E. MichaelisIV
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agriculture Research ServiceU.S. Department of AgricultureBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension, Department of MedicineGeorge Washington University Medical CenterWashington, DCUSA

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