Consumption of krill protein concentrate prevents early renal injury and nephrocalcinosis in female Sprague-Dawley rats

Urol Res. 2011 Feb;39(1):59-67. doi: 10.1007/s00240-010-0261-x. Epub 2010 Mar 9.


Female Sprague-Dawley rats provide an animal model for studying the role of nutrition in renal health due to their sensitivity to diet-induced alterations in kidney function. Nephrocalcinosis, a common renal abnormality found in rats, has been implicated in subsequent renal failure. Simple dietary manipulations, such as changing the source of dietary protein, may influence nephrocalcinosis. This study evaluates the consumption of krill protein concentrate (KPC), a novel and high-quality protein, on renal and bone health. Young female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10/group) were individually housed in metabolic cages and fed ad libitum diets consisting of 10% crude protein supplied as KPC or casein for 4 weeks. Diets were isocaloric, isonitrogenous, and matched for calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P). Urinary n-acetyl glucosaminidase (NAG) was measured and kidney histology performed to assess kidney damage. Biomarkers of kidney function were determined by calorimetric assays. Ca and P balance and bone concentrations were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Femoral strength was determined by three-point bend testing. Rats fed KPC had lower (P = 0.005) urinary NAG levels and minimal microtubular Ca deposition compared to rats fed casein. There was a tendency (P < 0.06) for higher glomerular filtration rates and lower proteinuria, and higher (P = 0.03) urinary output in rats fed KPC compared to casein. There were no differences in Ca and P balance or bone measurements of total bone mineral content, Ca, P or strength between rats fed KPC and casein. Based on the study results, KPC prevented early renal injury leading to nephrocalcinosis and potential bone loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / chemistry
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium, Dietary / analysis
  • Calcium, Dietary / metabolism
  • Caseins / analysis
  • Caseins / metabolism
  • Crustacea
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Euphausiacea / metabolism
  • Female
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Nephrocalcinosis / diet therapy*
  • Nephrocalcinosis / metabolism
  • Nephrocalcinosis / pathology
  • Phosphorus / analysis
  • Phosphorus / metabolism
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / analysis
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / metabolism
  • Proteinuria / metabolism
  • Proteinuria / pathology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Caseins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Phosphorus, Dietary
  • krill protein extract
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium