The effects of the ingestion of diets containing different concentrations of protein on the remaining kidney in adult white rats after a unilateral nephrectomy has been studied.
In the animals on the high protein diet (85 per cent casein), actual glomerular and tubular lesions were observed in the kidneys of animals maintained for 90, 120 and 150 days after nephrectomy.
In the animals on the standard ration, 18 per cent casein, no significant renal lesions were observed within the experimental period.
Spontaneous focal lesions in the kidneys of rats maintained on Sherman's diets "A" and "B" were inconspicuous at the age of 350 days but became progressively more frequent and were commonly observed after 500 days. The animals on the high protein and standard rations were all under 350 days old at the completion of the experiment.
It is suggested that the age factor is of importance in that young animals may have greater powers of adaptation in withstanding the injurious effect of high protein rations.
The animals on the high protein ration excreted definitely larger quantities of protein in the urine, and showed a higher incidence of casts in periods roughly corresponding to those in which anatomic lesions were observed than did the rats on the standard diet.