Tubular fluid flow, urine osmolality, and pH were selectively altered to determine the relative protective roles of these factors in a rat model of acute urate nephrophathy. Various prehyper uricemic conditions were established in five groups of animals: (a) normopenic Wistar rats given no pretreatment (Group I); (b) Wistar rats given acetazolamide, 20 mg/kg, and isotonic NaHCO3 to produce urine alkalinization (Group II); (c) Wistar rats in which a moderate diuresis, similar to that observed in Group II but without urine alkalinization, was induced with furosemide, 2 mg/kg (Group III); (d) Wistar rats in which a high-flow solute diuresis was induced with furosemide, 15 mg/kg (Group IV); (e) Brattleboro rats, homozygous for pituitary diabetes insipidus, that had a spontaneous high-flow water diuresis (Group V). A comparable level of hyperuricemia (19.4+/-2.2 mg/100 ml) was achieved in all animals with intravenous urate infusion. Clearance and micropuncture studies were performed before and 1 h after induction of hyperuicemia. Group I rats had mean falls in renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate of 83 and 86%, respectively; nephron filtration rate decreased 66%, and tubular and microvascular pressures increased twofold. In Group II there were 45 and 47% declines in renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate, respectively, a 66% fall in nephron filtration rate, and a 30% increase in tubular and vascular pressures. Moderate amounts of urate were seen in the kidneys. Group III had changes in renal function identical to Group II suggesting that the moderate prehyperuricemic diuresis in the latter group and not urine alkalinization produced the partial protection observed. Groups IV and V were completely and comparably protected with renal function studies unchanged from controls. It is concluded that high tubular fluid flow, whether induced by a solute or water diuresis, is the primary mechanism of protection in acute urate nephropathy. At most, urine alkalinization plays a minor preventive role.


J D Conger, S A Falk


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