Journal article

Does nephron number matter in the development of kidney disease?

Rebecca N Douglas-Denton, Bridgette J McNamara, Wendy E Hoy, Michael D Hughson, John F Bertram

Ethnicity & disease | Published : 2006


The total number of nephrons in normal human kidneys varies over a 10-fold range. This variation in total nephron number leads us to question whether low nephron number increases the risk of renal disease in adulthood. This review considers the available evidence in humans linking low nephron number/reduced nephron endowment and the susceptibility to renal disease. Total nephron number in humans has been directly correlated with birth weight and inversely correlated with age, mean glomerular volume, and hypertension. Low nephron number may be the result of suboptimal nephrogenesis during kidney development and/or loss of nephrons once nephrogenesis has been completed. Low nephron number is f..

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