A comparison of micropuncture and lithium clearance methods in the assessment of renal tubular function in rats with diabetes insipidus

Pflugers Arch. 1983 Dec;399(4):266-70. doi: 10.1007/BF00652750.


The lithium clearance technique has been proposed as a non-invasive method whereby fluid delivery from the pars recta and pars convoluta of proximal tubules can be measured as CLi and CIN [0.78 CLi/CIN + 0.22], respectively [12], CLi being the clearance of lithium and CIN that of inulin. In the present study, fluid delivery from proximal tubules was estimated simultaneously by micropuncture and lithium clearance techniques in anaesthetized Brattleboro rats with diabetes insipidus, under control conditions and following chronic treatment with hydrochlorothiazide. Absolute deliveries from the proximal convoluted tubules as determined by the micropuncture and lithium clearance methods were 437 and 427 microliter/min, respectively, in untreated animals and 348 and 355 microliter/min, respectively, in thiazide-treated animals. The individual results obtained by the two methods showed a high degree of correlation (r = 0.85, P less than 0.001). In untreated Brattleboro rats, proximal fluid delivery as estimated by both the micropuncture and lithium clearance techniques showed significant (P less than 0.001) correlations with urine flow rate. These results provide further evidence for the acceptance of lithium clearance as a valid estimate of proximal tubular fluid delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Insipidus / genetics
  • Diabetes Insipidus / physiopathology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hydrochlorothiazide / pharmacology
  • Inulin / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / physiopathology*
  • Lithium / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Punctures
  • Rats
  • Rats, Brattleboro


  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Inulin
  • Lithium