Ethnopharmacological relevance: Phylanthus niruri has been used to treat ailments related to the urogenital organs. In this study, this herb was hypothesized to help to ameliorate kidney disease in diabetes mellitus (DM).Aims: To investigate P. niruri leaves aqueous extract (PN) effects on kidney functions, histopathologicalchanges and levels of oxidative stress, inflammation, fibrosis, apoptosis and proliferation in DM.
Methods: PN was orally administered to streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats for 28 days. At the end of the treatment, fasting blood glucose (FBG) and kidney functions were measured. Kidney somaticindex, histopathological changes and levels of RAGE, Nrf2, oxidative stress markers (TBARS, SOD, CAT andGPx), inflammatory markers (NFkβ-p65, Ikk-β, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6), apoptosis markers (caspase-3, caspase9 and Bax), fibrosis markers (TGF-β1, VEGF and FGF-1) and proliferative markers (PCNA and Ki-67) were determined by biochemical assays, qPCR, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence.
Results: Administration of PN helps to maintain near normal FBG, creatinine clearance (CCr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), BUN/Cr ratio, serum electrolytes, uric acid and urine protein levels in DM. Decreased RAGE,TBARS and increased Nrf2, SOD-1, CAT and GPx-1 were observed in PN-treated diabetic rat kidneys.Expression of inflammatory, fibrosis and apoptosis markers in the kidney reduced but expression of proliferative markers increased following PN treatment. Lesser histopathological changes were observed in the kidney of PN-treated diabetic rats.
Conclusion: PN helps to preserve near normal kidney function and prevents histopathological changes via ameliorating oxidative stress, inflammation, fibrosis and apoptosis while enhancing proliferation of the kidney in DM.