Alterations in glomerular proteoglycan metabolism in experimental non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

Paola Fioretto, William F. Keane, Bertram L. Kasiske, Michael P. O'Donnell, David J. Klein, Frank X. Daniels, Greg Holden

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6 Scopus citations


Glomerular proteoglycans (PG) are important in modulating extracellular matrix assembly and glomerular permselectivity. In the obese Zucker rat, an experimental model of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, expansion of the mesangial matrix, and microalbuminuria occur before the development of overt renal disease. The in vivo incorporation of (35S)sulfate into glomerular PG in 12-wk-old obese Zucker rats at the onset of microalbuminuria was compared with that of 12-wk-old lean Zucker rats. Specific (35S)sulfate incorporation into glomerular PG over 8 h was increased by 57% in obese rats compared with lean rats, suggesting increased PG synthesis. However, at variance with the observation in experimental models of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, the proportion of total glomerular (35S)PG released by heparin treatment was unchanged. Heparan sulfate (HS)-PG constituted over 60% of radiolabeled de novo synthesized glomerular PG. Similar proportions of HS-PG were extracted from the glomeruli of obese and lean rats. Isolated glomeruli spontaneously released two HS-PG, which constituted approximately 30% of total glomerular (35S)PG. On the basis of their chromatographic and electrophoretic patterns, these PG were similar in obese and lean rats. Heparin treatment of isolated glomeruli released an additional HS-PG, which appeared to be derived primarily from the glomerular extracellular matrix compartment and not from the deterger soluble cell fraction. Heparin-releasable HS-PG from both the lean and obese Zucker rats eluted at a KAV of 0.31 from Sepharose CL-6B chromatographic columns, indicating a hydrodynamic size similar to that reported for glomerular basement membrane HS-PG. However, gel electrophoresis demonstrated faster migration of the HS-PG released by heparin from the glomeruli of obese Zucker rats, suggesting increased electronegativity. Thus, early in the course of nephropathy in the obese Zucker rat, there is increased glomerular PG synthesis with no change in the proportions of the constitutively releasable and heparin-releasable HS-PG. Whether electrophoretic abnormalities of the heparin-releasable HS-PG observed in the obese rats contribute to the development of albuminuria and/or mesangial matrix expansion remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1704
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 1993


  • Albuminuria
  • Glomerular proteoglycans
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • Zucker rats


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