Acute renal failure was induced in male rats by the subcutaneous injection of 4 mg HgCl2 per kg body weight. Enzyme activities of the proximal tubule were studied histochemically at six time intervals from 15 min to 24 h. The enzymes studied were alkaline phosphatase, 5′-nucleotidase, acid phosphatase, α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (NAD-independent), malic dehydrogenase, succinic dehydrogenase, latic dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glucose-6-phosphatase. Decreases in activity were observed for alkaline phosphatase and 5′-nucleotidase after 15 min. Acid phosphatase was decreased after 30 min. These three enzymes returned to control levels after 3 h, but malic dehydrogenase and α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase were decreased at this time interval. Succinic dehydrogenase was first decreased after 6 h. The earliest morphological changes detectable by light microscopy were observed in pars recta tubules in the medullary rays after 6 h, a time when all enzymes studied showed widespread decreased activity throughout the proximal tubule. After 24 h, the pars convoluta appeared morphologically normal but the pars recta was necrotic and exhibited calcification, whereas enzyme activity was decreased (absent in some cases) in both pars convoluta and pars recta. These results support the hypothesis that Hg+ +, when given in a sublethal dose, is associated with early histochemical changes in the brush border of the proximal tubule, which may be related to early changes in sodium reabsorption and to the subsequent development of acute renal failure. The observation that changes in plasma membrane-associated enzymes occur early and prior to alterations in enzymes of mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum suggests that Hg++ interacts initially with the plasma membrane.
- Acute renal failure
- Mercuric chloride
- Proximal tubule
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine