A low-protein diet restricts albumin synthesis in nephrotic rats

G. A. Kaysen, H. Jones, V. Martin, F. N. Hutchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


High-protein diets increase albumin synthesis in rats with Heymann nephritis but albuminuria increases also, causing serum albumin concentration to be suppressed further than in nephrotic animals eating a low-protein diet. Experiments were designed to determine whether dietary protein augmentation directly stimulates albumin synthesis is triggered by the decrease in serum albumin concentration. Evidence is presented that dietary protein augmentation directly stimulates albumin synthesis, accompanied by a proportional increase in steady-state hepatic albumin mRNA concentration (AlbmRNA) and by an increase in AlbmRNA transcription. When the increased albuminuria resulting from dietary protein augmentation is blunted with enalapril, serum albumin concentrations is shown to increse in neprotic rats. Both albumin synthesis and AlbmRNA increase in these animals despite the greater serum albumin concentration. Albumin synthesis correlates inversely with both serum albumin and serum oncotic pressure in nephrotic rats fed 40% protein, but does not correlate with serum albumin concentration in nephrotic rats fed 8.5% protein (LP), even when serum albumin concentration is reduced. Albumin masses are preserved in LP primarily because of reduced albuminuria. Reduced serum oncotic pressure and dietary protein augmentation combine to stimulate albumin synthesis in nephrotic rats at the level of gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1629
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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