Rapid postexposure decay of a2u-globulin and hyaline droplets in the kidneys of gasoline-treated male rats

Bhagwan D. Garg, Michael J. Olson, William F. Demyan, Arun K. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Unleaded gasoline induces nephropathy, characterized by rapid accumulation of hyaline (protein resorption) droplets in epithelial cells of the renal proximal convoluted tubules, only in male rats. The hepatic synthesis of the male rat-specific protein a2u- globulin, a constituent of renal hyaline droplets, is unaltered by gasoline treatment (Olson et al., 1987). Renal a2u-globulin content increased to 210% of control within 18 h of a single oral dose of gasoline (2.0 ml/kg); maximal levels (320% of control) were attained following gasoline administration for 3 d. Increases in renal a2u-globulin caused by gasoline were accompanied by concurrent proliferation of hyaline droplets. However, within 3 d of terminating gasoline administration renal a2u-globulin content decreased to the same level as that in unexposed rats, although renal hyaline droplet number returned to pretreatment levels somewhat more slowly. The conjoint effect of postexposure recovery and estradiol (an inhibitor of hepatic a2u-globulin synthesis) administration was also determined in male rats. On postexposure d 3, 6, and 9, estradiol treatment (1 mg/kg, sc, 4 d, starting on d 9 of gasoline treatment) decreased renal a2u-globulin content to 75%, 59%, and 48%, respectively, of that in rats allowed to recover from gasoline with no hormone treatment. Hepatic a2u-globulin content in estradiol-treated rats was decreased by 74%, 97%, and 96% at the same intervals. Estradiol treatment during recovery from gasoline also appeared to increase the removal of accumulated hyaline droplets from the renal cortex. Thus, accumulation of a2u-globulin-containing hyaline droplets after subacute exposure of male rats to gasoline is rapidly reversible, dependent on continuous exposure to gasoline and maintenance of the normal rate of hepatic a2u-globulin synthesis. These results emphasize the dynamic state of renal cortical hyaline droplets and suggest strongly that gasoline hydrocarbons cause hyaline droplet accumulation by prolonging the half-time of degradation of a2u-globulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of toxicology and environmental health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution


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