Preventive use of Berberine in Inhibition of Lead Induced Renal Injury in Rats
The kidney is one of the main organs affected by lead toxicity. Berberine is a natural compound with multiple
pharmacological activities. We aimed to investigate the protective effects of berberine on lead induced nephrotoxicity in rats.
Animals received an aqueous solution of lead acetate (500 mg Pb/L in the drinking water) and/or berberine (50 mg/kg, i.g.)
for eight weeks. Then rats were weighed and used for biochemical, histological and oxidant/antioxidant evaluations. Renal
oxidative stress was indicated by a significant increase in the renal content of malondialdehyde (MDA), total oxidant status
(TOS) as well as a decrease in the levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and
total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Berberine decreased MDA and TOS whereas it increased the content of GSH, CAT, SOD
and TAC in both lead and control groups. Berberine treatment corrected the increased kidney weight and biochemical
markers of renal function in lead group. It also attenuated lead induced abnormal renal structure. The results confirmed
renoprotective effects of berberine in an animal model of lead- induced nephrotoxicity by molecular, biochemical and
histopathological analysis through inhibiting lipid peroxidation and enhancing antioxidant defense systems mechanisms.
Therefore, berberine makes a good candidate to protect against the deleterious effect of chronic lead intoxication.
Keywords: Berberine, Nephroprotective, Oxidative stress, Kidney, Rats.