Effect of prenatal programming and postnatal rearing on glomerular filtration rate in adult rats

German Lozano, Ayah Elmaghrabi, Jordan Salley, Khurrum Siddique, Jyothsna Gattineni, Michel Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether a prenatal low-protein diet programs a decrease in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and an increase in systolic blood pressure (BP). In addition, we examined whether altering the postnatal nutritional environment of nursing neonatal rats affected GFR and BP when rats were studied as adults. Pregnant rats were fed a normal (20%) protein diet or a low-protein diet (6%) during the last half of pregnancy until birth, when rats were fed a 20% protein diet. Mature adult rats from the prenatal low-protein group had systolic hypertension and a GFR of 0.38 ± 0.03 versus 0.57 ± 0.05 ml·min−1·100 g body wt−1 in the 20% group (P < 0.01). In cross-fostering experiments, mothers continued on the same prenatal diet until weaning. Prenatal 6% protein rats cross-fostered to a 20% mother on day 1 of life had a GFR of 0.53 ± 0.05 ml·min−1·100 g body wt−1, which was not different than the 20% group cross-fostered to a different 20% mother (0.45 ± 0.04 ml·min−1·100 g body wt−1). BP in the 6% to 20% group was comparable with the 20% to 20% group. Offspring of rats fed either 20% or 6% protein diets during pregnancy and cross-fostered to a 6% mother had elevated BP but a comparable GFR normalized to body weight as the 20% to 20% control group. Thus, a prenatal low-protein diet causes hypertension and a reduction in GFR in mature adult offspring, which can be modified by postnatal rearing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F411-F419
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Hypertension
  • Postnatal programming
  • Prenatal programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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