P-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of the rat kidney with ureteral ligation resulted in a rapid and major increase in a peak resonating at 7096.63 +/- 0.65 Hz from the reference frequency of phosphorus (32.60 MHz). This corresponded to an increase in the concentration of the substance responsible for peak X from 0.34 +/- 0.04 mumol/g wet weight in normal kidneys to 1.45 +/- 0.27 mumol/g wet weight in unilaterally obstructed kidneys and 2.00 +/- 0.34 mumol/g wet weight in bilaterally obstructed kidneys at 3 h (P less than 0.01). Further NMR studies performed with in vivo kidneys and tissue extracts revealed that inorganic phosphate in the urine, resonating at a lower frequency due to the acid pH environment, was responsible for the increase in this peak. These findings may prove to be of fundamental interest as well as potential clinical significance.
J I Shapiro, L Chan