Adaptive hyperfiltration in the aging kidney after contralateral nephrectomy

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 Sep;291(3):F629-34. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00329.2005. Epub 2006 Mar 8.


We examined the magnitude of adaptive hyperfiltration in the remaining kidney of 16 aging (>57 yr) and 16 youthful (<55 yr) individuals who had undergone a contralateral nephrectomy. Healthy volunteers who were youthful (n = 143) or aging (n = 37) provided control values for the binephric condition. One-kidney glomerular filtration rate (GFR; +42%), renal plasma flow (+38%), plasma oncotic pressure (+2.8 mmHg), and mean arterial pressure (+7.0 mmHg) were all higher in youthful uninephric vs. binephric subjects. Corresponding excesses in aging uninephric vs. binephric subjects were by 38 and 36% and 1.4 and 14.0 mmHg, respectively. Modeling of these data revealed that an isolated increase in either the glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient (K(f)) by 110% or in the transcapillary hydraulic pressure gradient (DeltaP) by 7 mmHg, could account for the observed level of hyperfiltration in youthful uninephric subjects. Corresponding increases for aging uninephric subjects were 61% for K(f) and 5 mmHg for DeltaP. We conclude that the magnitude of adaptive hyperfiltration is similar in aging to that in youthful uninephric subjects, albeit at a lower absolute GFR level. Isolated increases in either K(f) or DeltaP or a combination of smaller increases in both can account for the hyperfiltration. Greater adaptive arterial hypertension in aging than youthful uninephric subjects raises the possibility of a disproportionate role for glomerular hypertension and DeltaP elevation in aging compared with youthful uninephric subjects. Glomerular hypertension could exacerbate the sclerosing glomerulopathy of senescence and lead to renal insufficiency. We recommend that living donors of a kidney transplantation in or beyond the seventh decade be used with caution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Living Donors
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy*