Role of molecular charge in glomerular permeability: Tracer studies with cationized ferritins

Helmut G. Rennke, Ramzi S. Cotran, Manjeri A. Venkatachalam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

312 Scopus citations


Mouse kidneys were perfused with Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer (KRB) containing native, anionic horse spleen ferritin or various cationized derivatives, and the glomerular localization of the probe molecules determined by electron microscopy. Ferritins cationic with respect to the medium (KRB, pH 7.45) accumulated in the subendothelial layers of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) in amounts far exceeding those observed with anionic ferritins, the degree being greater for the more cationized derivatives. Strongly cationized ferritins, in addition, permeated the full thickness of the GBM in considerable amounts, but appeared to be retarded from entry into the urinary spaces at the level of the filtration slits. Very strongly cationized derivatives adhered to glomerular endothelium and GBM and formed aggregates in the outer layers of the latter. The results suggest that intrinsic negative charges are present in the GBM and endothelium, and that the barrier function of the glomerular capillary wall may be ascribed in part to its electrophysical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-646
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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