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Keywords:

  • Distal tubules;
  • dog;
  • kidney;
  • lower nephron;
  • proteinuria;
  • urine

Background

Tamm–Horsfall protein (THP) is physiologically excreted in urine, but little is known about the role of THP in the diagnosis of renal disease in dogs.

Objective

The aim of this study was to evaluate to which extent naturally occurring renal disease affects the urinary excretion of THP.

Methods

Dogs were divided into 5 groups according to plasma creatinine concentration, urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (UP/UC), and exogenous plasma creatinine clearance (P-ClCr) rates: Group A (healthy control dogs; = 8), nonazotemic and nonproteinuric dogs, with P-ClCr rates > 90 mL/min/m2; group B (= 25), nonazotemic and nonproteinuric dogs with reduced P-ClCr rates (51–89 mL/min/m2); group C (= 7), nonazotemic but proteinuric dogs with P-ClCr rates 53–98 mL/min/m2; group D (= 8), azotemic and borderline proteinuric dogs (P-ClCr rates: 22–45 mL/min/m2); and group E (= 15), azotemic and proteinuric dogs (not tested for P-ClCr). THP was measured by quantitative Western blot analysis, and the ratio of THP-to-urinary creatinine (THP/UC) was calculated.

Results

The THP/UC concentrations were not different among dogs of groups A–D, but were reduced in dogs of group E (< .001). THP/UC correlated negatively with serum creatinine (< .01) and UP/UC (< .01), but was not significantly associated with P-ClCr.

Conclusions

Decreased levels of THP/UC were present in moderately to severely azotemic and proteinuric dogs. This suggests tubular injury in these dogs and that THP might be useful as urinary marker to study the pathogenesis of renal disease.