Objective: To describe the renal lesions in Bull Terrier polycystic kidney disease (BTPKD), to confirm that the renal cysts in BTPKD arise from the nephron or collecting tubule, and to identify lesions consistent with concurrent BTPKD and Bull Terrier hereditary nephritis (BTHN).
Design: Renal tissue from five Bull Terriers with BTPKD and eight control dogs was examined by light and transmission electron microscopy. Clinical data were collected from all dogs, and family history of BTPKD and BTHN for all Bull Terriers.
Results: In BTPKD the renal cysts were lined by epithelial cells of nephron or collecting duct origin that were usually squamous or cuboidal, with few organelles. They had normal junctional complexes, and basal laminae of varying thicknesses. Glomeruli with small, atrophic tufts and dilated Bowman's capsules, tubular loss and dilation, and interstitial inflammation and fibrosis were common. Whereas the lesions seen in BTHN by light microscope were nonspecific, the presence of characteristic ultrastructural glomerular basement membrane (GMB) lesions and a family history of this disease indicated concurrent BTHN was likely in three of five cases of BTPKD.
Conclusion: This paper provides evidence that renal cysts in BTPKD are of nephron or collecting duct origin. In addition, GBM lesions are described that strongly suggest that BTPKD and BTHN may occur simultaneously.