1. We have correlated measurements of colloid osmotic pressure with protein concentrations and albumin/globulin ratios. Plasma from normal rats of different genetic strains was used.
2. The Landis and Pappenheimer equation does not accurately predict colloid osmotic pressure properties of the normal rat plasma used, which had an albumin/globulin ratio of 0.74. Over the range 2.2−12.2 g of protein/100 ml, the measured colloid osmotic pressures vary between −5% and +10% from the value predicted by the equation.
3. In Wistar-derived genetically hypertensive and normotensive rats, albumin/globulin ratios were higher than those in common Wistar rats. Owing to the presence of higher globulins, plasma proteins were higher in Wistar than spontaneously hypertensive and normotensive rats, and colloid osmotic pressure was identical in the three groups.
4. When common Sprague—Dawley rats were obtained from two different suppliers, their albumin/globulin ratios were found to be different.
5. As the difference in albumin/globulin ratio between human and rat plasma becomes more pronounced, predicting rat plasma colloid osmotic pressure from the Landis and Pappenheimer equation becomes less accurate. Environmental and/or genetic factors play a role in the albumin/globulin ratio found in normal healthy rats.
6. Therefore albumin/globulin ratios should be measured in each experimental situation. If the ratios are close to that of human plasma, the Landis and Pappenheimer equation can be used. If not, a new colloid osmotic pressure-protein expression should be derived.
7. Calculation of glomerular capillary pressures from directly measured colloid osmotic pressure values reduces error.