Morphological changes in the rat kidney following long-term diabetes

E. N. Obineche, E. Mensah-Brown, S. I. Chandranath, I. Ahmed, O. Naseer, A. Adem

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31 Scopus citations


The morphological basis of diabetic nephropathy has been studied using light and electron microscopy. Kidneys of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were examined on the light microscope at 4 weeks and 8 months after induction of diabetes mellitus. In addition, the 8-month diabetic kidneys were examined with the electron microscope. Renal hypertrophy was evidenced by the increase in the weight of kidneys of diabetic rats. Whilst the diabetic kidneys were approximately twice as large after 4 weeks they were only 30% larger compared to age-matched controls after 8 months of induction of diabetes. After 4 weeks, light microscopy revealed dilated tubules within the cortex of the diabetic kidneys. Light microscopy showed a significant amount of destruction of the distal convoluted tubules while electron microscopy revealed a spectrum of damage that included basement membrane thickening, loss of podocytic foot processes, disruption of tubular basal infoldings and their related mitochondria and fibrosis of the tubules 8 months after induction of diabetes. It is concluded that renal hypertrophy persists after a prolonged occurrence of diabetes but the extensive damage and loss of renal tissue including the loss of the foot processes of podocytes might be partly responsible for the clinical presentation of diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number3 SPEC ISS.
StatePublished - Jul 2001


  • Diabetes
  • Glomerulus
  • Morphology
  • Nephropathy
  • Rat kidney
  • Streptozotocin


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