An essential fatty acid deficient diet (EFAD) was administered to rats to determine the feasibility of using a model of endogenous arachidonic acid deficiency to study the role of prostaglandins in the kidney. Beginning at weaning rats were fed a diet containing less than 0.2% linoleic acid. Prostaglandin E (PGE) production was determined in vitro by stimulation of renal papillary slices with 1500 m0sm NaCl in Krebs-Henseleit buffer and in vivo by 24 hour urine collection. EFAD caused a reduction of arachidonic acid in the renal papilla to 13% of levels in control rats (P<.0005). In vitro PGE release from incubated papillae of EFAD rats was barely detectable at baseline but increased with stimulation to approximately 50% of PGE levels observed in normal tissues. Urinary PGE, volume and sodium excretion were not significantly different between EFAD and control rats. These results suggest that despite significant differences in arachidonic acid stores between EFAD and normal rats, the usefulness of this animal model to study prostaglandin-mediated events may be limited by the residual capacity of the EFAD papilla to produce prostaglandin.
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