PURPOSE: Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent with nephrotoxicity that constrains its clinical application. Berberine is an isoquinoline derivative alkaloid with biological functions like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The current research intended to examine the nephroprotective impacts of berberine against cyclophosphamide-stimulated nephrotoxicity.

METHODS: Forty animal subjects were randomly separated into five categories of control (Group I), cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg, i.p., on 7th day) (Group II), and groups III and IV that received berberine 50 and 100 mg/kg orally for seven days and a single injection of cyclophosphamide on 7th day. Group V as berberine (100 mg/kg, alone). On day 8, blood samples were drawn from the retro-orbital sinus to determine serum levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (Cr), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) as biomarkers for kidney injury. Nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels, catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities as oxidative stress factors, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) levels as inflammatory mediators were assessed in kidney tissue.

RESULTS: The results of this study demonstrated that berberine was able to protect remarkably the kidney from CP-induced injury through decreasing the level of BUN, Cr, NGAL, KIM-1, NO, MDA TNF-α, IL-1β and increasing the level of GSH, CAT, SOD, and GPx activities.

CONCLUSION: Berberine may be employed as a natural agent to prevent cyclophosphamide-induced nephrotoxicity through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

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