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To test the effects of dietary NaCl and carbohydrate content on urine volume in diabetic rats.Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were subjected to NaCl restriction using either a NaCl-deficient carbohydrate-rich synthetic diet (Altromin C1036) supplemented to contain 0.16% NaCl (C1036 + lowNaCl) or a modified normal cereal-based diet (Altromin 1320) containing 0.086% NaCl (lowNaCl-1320). Normal diet contained 0.2683% NaCl.Using the C1036 + lowNaCl diet, earlier reported paradoxical increases in water intake and urine volume of diabetic rats were reproduced. However, water intake and urine volume also increased in diabetic rats offered the synthetic C1036 diet supplemented with NaCl to normal levels. Using the lowNaCl-1320 diet, water intake and urine volume were markedly reduced. Highly significant correlations between urine volume and both osmotic output and urinary glucose excretion were found in diabetic rats on normal diet, but these correlations were absent in diabetic rats on synthetic diet, which showed higher urine volumes than expected from the correlations. In contrast, urine volume was significantly correlated with carbohydrate intake in diabetic rats, irrespective of the diet.(i) The synthetic diet dramatically increases the urine volume in STZ-DM rats irrespectively of NaCl content. (ii) Rats with STZ-DM on a normal diet show reduced water intake and urine volume in response to dietary NaCl restriction. (iii) A shift to high carbohydrate diet induces polyuria in STZ-DM rats. (iv) Urine volume in all STZ-DM rats only shows correlation with dietary carbohydrate intake. (v) Glucose-driven osmotic diuresis is unlikely to explain the carbohydrate-induced polyuria.