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Improvement of Cisplatin-induced renal dysfunction by Schisandra chinensis stems via anti-inflammation and anti-apoptosis effects

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill is a frequently used traditional Chinese medicine, and modern pharmacological research has proven that S. chinensis has antioxidant, anti-hepatotoxity,anti-inflammatory, and anti-nephrotoxic effects. Cisplatin is widely used as anti neoplastic drug at present, but the clinical application is limited owing to its nephrotoxicity.

Aim of the study: To demonstrate the renoprotective activity of the extract of the stems of S. chinensis (SCE) in mice established by cisplatin-triggering acute kidney injury (AKI). The possible molecular mechanism of nephroprotection exhibited by SCE was evaluated for the first time.

Materials and methods: Mice in SCE groups were pre-treated with SCE for 10 consecutive days, and on 7th day 1 h after final administration, following intraperitoneal injection of cisplatin with 20 mg/kg was treated to cisplatin group and SCE groups. On the 10th day, renal function, histopathological change, and oxidative stress markers were investigated.

Results: Renal oxidative stress level characterized by elevated heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), cytochrome P450 E1(CYP2E1) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) expression was obviously reduced by SCE pre-treatment. In addition,SCE was found to suppress inflammatory response through the reduction of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) p65 activation. SCE treatment also inhibited activation of apoptotic pathways through down-regulating Bax, cleaved caspase-3, 8, 9 and up-regulating Bcl-2 expression levels.

Conclusion: These findings illustrated that SCE possessed powerful protective effect on AKI caused by cisplatin via amelioration of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis.