Addition of oleic acid to delipidated bovine serum albumin aggravates renal damage in experimental protein-overload nephrosis

MM van Timmeren*, SJL Bakker, CA Stegeman, ROB Gans, H van Goor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) carried on albumin may have a causal role in the development of chronic proteinuria-induced nephropathy. To investigate whether NEFA aggravate renal structural damage, we studied the effects of NEFA addition to delipidated bovine serum albumin (BSA) in protein-overload nephropathy.

Methods. Three groups of Wistar rats received daily intraperitoneal injections (3 weeks) of either 1 g NEFA-free BSA (BSA-0), or NEFA-free BSA with three (BSA-3) or six (BSA-6) molecules oleic acid added per BSA molecule. An additional group received saline injections only (SAL). Renal damage was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR.

Results. Interstitial and glomerular alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA, marker of myofibroblast transformation) expression were higher in BSA-3/6 than in saline-injected controls (P <0.001). Glomerular macrophage influx and desmin (marker of glomerular epithelial cell damage) expression were higher in all BSA-injected rats than SAL (P <0.001). Interstitial macrophage influx was elevated in BSA-0/3 (P <0.05) and BSA-6 (P <0.001) compared to SAL. Addition of six molecules of oleic acid to BSA revealed higher interstitial and glomerular alpha-SMA expression (P <0.001), increased interstitial macrophage numbers (P <0.001) and enhanced glomerular desmin expression (P <0.05) compared to BSA-0. RT-PCR revealed higher glomerular alpha-SMA mRNA expression in BSA-3/6 than SAL (P <0.001 and 0.05, respectively), interstitial alpha-SMA mRNA was elevated in BSA-6 (P <0.05). Interstitial TGF-beta 1 mRNA expression was significantly higher in BSA-3 than SAL (P <0.05).

Conclusions. These data show that addition of oleic acid to NEFA-free BSA aggravates renal damage, suggesting a role for NEFA in the pathogenesis of proteinuric nephropathies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2349-2357
Number of pages9
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2005


  • albuminuria
  • non-esterified fatty acids
  • oleic acid
  • protein-overload
  • proteinuric nephropathies


Dive into the research topics of 'Addition of oleic acid to delipidated bovine serum albumin aggravates renal damage in experimental protein-overload nephrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this