Functional and morphometric evaluation of offspring kidney after intrauterine undernutrition

Pediatr Nephrol. 1997 Dec;11(6):719-23. doi: 10.1007/s004670050374.


Pregnant rats were subjected to 50% food restriction during the first or the second half of pregnancy, or throughout pregnancy. The effects of intrauterine food restriction, on kidney function and morphometry were studied in newborn and adult (3 months) offspring. No differences in glomerular diameter were observed in newborn restricted rats compared with controls. The number of glomeruli was significantly lower both in newborn and 3-month-old restricted rats. However, glomerular diameter was increased in 3-month-old rats, which suggests that hypertrophic stimuli were present. The medulla/cortex ratio increased in adult rats submitted to food restriction during pregnancy, a finding that agrees with the preserved sodium and acid excretion, and the normal osmolar and free water clearance observed in these groups. These results show that the reduction in glomerular number is still present 3 months after birth in the progeny of mothers submitted to severe food restriction during pregnancy, suggesting impairment of glomerulogenesis even after birth. Intra utero undernutrition can be regarded as an experimental model of glomerular hypertrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / etiology
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Female
  • Juxtaglomerular Apparatus / pathology
  • Juxtaglomerular Apparatus / physiopathology
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiopathology
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders / metabolism
  • Nutrition Disorders / pathology*
  • Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium / urine


  • Sodium