Glomerular extracellular matrices in rat diabetic glomerulopathy by scanning electron microscopy

H. Makino, Y. Yamasaki, K. Hironaka, Z. Ota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Characteristic pathological changes in the glomeruli in diabetic nephropathy include expansion of the mesangial matrix and thickening of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). Using an acellular digestion technique combined with scanning electron microscopy, the three-dimensional ultrastructural changes in glomerular extracellular matrices were studied in rats with diabetic glomerulopathy. Diabetes was induced by the intravenous injection of streptozotocin and morphological analyses were performed 3, 6 and 11 months after the injection. Expansion of mesangial area and GBM thickening became evident with time. After treatment with the series of detergents, all cellular components were completely removed leaving the extracellular matrices intact. In normal controls, the mesangial matrix appeared as fenestrated septa with oval or round stomata between the glomerular capillaries. In diabetic glomerulopathy, expansion of mesangial matrix and narrowing of the mesangial fenestrae were observed. These changes in the mesangial matrices seem to play a vital role in the progression of glomerulosclerosis in rat diabetes. A subendothelial thin layer of the GBM was continuous with the mesangial matrix. One cause of GBM thickening in streptozotocin diabetes may be expansion of the mesangial matrix into the peripheral GBM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalVirchows Archiv B Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1992


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glomerular basement membrane
  • Glomerulus
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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