Increased epidermal growth factor in experimental diabetes related kidney growth in rats

R. E. Gilbert, A. Cox, P. G. McNally, L. L. Wu, M. Dziadek, M. E. Cooper, G. Jerums

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Renal enlargement is a characteristic feature of human and experimental diabetes mellitus that may be predictive of subsequent nephropathy. In the streptozotocin diabetic rat kidney growth rapidly follows the induction of experimental diabetes but the mechanisms responsible for this growth are poorly understood. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent mitogen for renal tubular cells. Thirty one male Sprague-Dawley rats aged 13 weeks were randomised to receive either streptozotocin (diabetic, n = 20) or buffer (control, n = 11). Animals were studied on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 following streptozotocin. Diabetes was associated with a 3-fold increase in urinary EGF excretion (223±15 vs 59±5 ng/day, mean ± SEM, diabetic vs control, p < 0.0001) and 36 fold increase in renal EGF mRNA relative to controls (p < 0.001). A transient rise in kidney EGF protein was noted on day 1. There was no difference between diabetic and control animals with regard to intrarenal sites of EGF expression or in plasma EGF. These data suggest that the increased urinary EGF excretion in diabetic animals is the result of enhanced local production and that EGF is not stored for a prolonged period within renal tubular cells but is released following its synthesis. In the context of the known intrarenal actions of EGF this growth factor may play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetes related kidney growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-785
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Kidney growth
  • mRNA

Cite this