Circadian rhythm of glomerular filtration rate in normal individuals

Clin Sci (Lond). 1989 Jul;77(1):105-11. doi: 10.1042/cs0770105.


1. In a group of 11 normal individuals we measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by inulin clearances and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) by p-aminohippurate clearances during a period of 24 h and a regimen of bedrest, identical food intake per 3 h and normal sleep/wake and light/dark cycles. 2. All subjects had a circadian rhythm for GFR with a maximum of 122 ml/min (SD 22) in the daytime, a minimum of 86 ml/min (SD 12) at night and with a relative amplitude of 33% (SD 15). 3. ERPF had a circadian rhythm with a similar relative amplitude as the GFR rhythm, but with a different phase. Because of this difference in phase, the calculated filtration fraction (GFR/ERPF) followed a circadian rhythm as well. 4. The circadian rhythms of urine volume and sodium excretion were in phase with the GFR rhythm, but the potassium rhythm had a different phase, probably because urinary potassium is largely derived from tubular secretion. 5. Urinary albumin and beta 2-microglobulin excretion had a circadian rhythm in phase with the GFR rhythm. 6. The highest quantity of sodium, water and beta 2-microglobulin was reabsorbed in the daytime; tubular reabsorption, expressed as percentage of the filtered load (fractional reabsorption), had a rhythm with a reversed phase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albuminuria
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Renal Circulation*
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Sodium
  • Urine
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / urine


  • Serum Albumin
  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Sodium
  • Potassium