Urinary obstruction reduces glomerulogenesis in the developing kidney: A model in the rabbit

K. T. McVary, Max Maizels

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59 Scopus citations


To study the effect of unilateral ureteral obstruction upon the development of the kidney a fetal rabbit model was developed. A total of 27 rabbits underwent ureteral ligation in utero (24 days after conception) and 34 underwent ureteral ligation at term (30 days after conception). Two rabbits undergoing in utero ureteral ligation underwent decompression at term. Fetal development was evaluated by glomerular counts of mid sagittal sections of kidney and compared to that of 67 normal rabbits, 43 littermates of rabbits undergoing surgery, 12 rabbits with missed ligation of the ureter and 4 whose ureters were ligated after the period of nephrogenesis had ended (57 days after conception). In the normal rabbit term occurred at 31 days after conception but nephrogenesis continued until 48 days when the cortical glomerular count reached approximately 650. Ligation of the ureter at 24 days led to a rapid decrease in cortical glomerular counts in the obstructed kidney but glomeruli developing within the nephrogenic cap were more resistant to the effects of the obstruction. Glomerular counts in the nonobstructed kidney were similar to those of littermates. Ligation of the ureter at 30 days produced similar findings. All operated fetuses and their littermates showed glomerular counts less than that of normal animals of the same age. In the 2 fetuses who underwent ureteral ligation at 24 days after conception and decompression at 30 days after conception sacrifice at 42 days after conception revealed that glomerular counts that had been reduced by 95 per cent by the obstruction showed 80 per cent recovery after decompression. It appears that renal development can be quantified by glomerular counts in the rabbit. Obstruction during fetal development reduces these counts while in a limited sample decompression of the obstructed kidney partially restores them. This model appears to be suitable for the study of the effects of fetal surgery upon renal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-651
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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