Effect of potassium depletion on tubular morphology in gentamicin-induced acute renal failure in dogs

D. C. Dobyan, R. E. Cronin, R. E. Bulger

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8 Scopus citations


Potassium deprivation has recently been reported to potentiate the degree of functional impairment in a gentamicin-induced model of acute renal failure. The present study investigated the effects of two different states of potassium homeostasis on the development of cellular injury in the early stage of gentamicin nephrotoxicity in dogs. Gentamicin (15 mg per kg intramuscularly twice daily) was administered for 4 and 7 days to potassium-depleted or potassium-supplemented animals. The results show that potassium supplementation markedly lessens the severity of pathologic alterations induced by gentamicin. In both groups of animals, the S1 and S2 segments of the proximal tubule were the most consistently damaged regions of the nephron. Potassium-supplemented dogs had a significantly higher number of normal proximal tubule cells than did the animals deprived of potassium and viewed 7 days after gentamicin treatment (77.3 versus 36.9%; p < 0.025). The degree of total injury to the proximal tubule was significantly higher in potassium-depleted animals than in those supplemented with potassium (59.9 versus 21.9%; p < 0.05). Only those dogs depleted of potassium prior to the administration of gentamicin had a markedly elevated plasma creatinine level at the 7-day time period. In this respect, a strong correlation was noted between the degree of proximal tubular injury and functional impairment (r = 0.81; p < 0.005). Potassium supplementation appears to lessen the extent of structural alterations seen in this model of gentamicin-induced acute renal failure in dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-594
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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