27 May 1998
Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) are both synthesized by tubular cells in the distal part of the nephron and excreted with the urine. The present study examines the urinary excretion rates of the two peptides in relation to functional tubular markers in patients with chronic nephropathy. Four groups of patients with moderate to severely reduced renal function were studied: glomerulonephritis (n = 10), diabetic nephropathy (n = 11), tubulointerstitial nephropathy (n = 13), and polycystic kidney disease (n = 8). The renal function was evaluated by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) as an indicator for the general renal function, lithium clearance (C<sub>Li</sub>) as an indicator for proximal tubular function, and absolute distal reabsorption of sodium (ADR<sub>Na</sub>) as an indicator for distal tubular function. The excretion rate of EGF was rather closely correlated with GFR, C<sub>Li</sub> and ADR<sub>Na</sub> (Spearman coefficients of variation 0.88, 0.69, and 0.74, respectively). The correlations between the excretion rate of THP and GFR, C<sub>Li</sub> and ADR<sub>Na</sub> were weaker (Spearman coefficients of variation 0.68, 0.42, and 0.44). When the effect of GFR had been accounted for by multiple variance analyses, the excretion rates of the two peptides were still associated with ADR<sub>Na</sub> but not with C<sub>Li</sub>. In conclusion, the urinary excretion rates of especially EGF but also those of THP were correlated with renal function and distal tubular reabsorption of sodium in patients with chronic nephropathy.