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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 Feb;32(2):172-85. doi: 10.1177/0960327112462729.

Protective effects of puerarin on experimental chronic lead nephrotoxicity in immature female rats.

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  • 1College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, People's Republic of China.


Puerarin (PU), a natural flavonoid, has been reported to possess anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study, female Sprague-Dawley rats received lead (Pb) nitrate (300 mg/L, via drinking water) and/or PU (400 mg/kg/day, orally) to investigate the protective effects of PU on Pb-induced renal damage. Renal toxicity was evaluated by detecting urinary proteins excretion as well as levels of serum urea nitrogen and serum creatinine. Ultrastructural observations and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses were performed on kidney cortex tissues to identify the mitochondrial damage and quantify gene expression levels of cytochrome oxidase submits (COX-I/II/III), respectively. Renal cell damage was assessed by light microscopic examination. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels and antioxidant status in kidney were also evaluated. Animals that received both Pb and PU showed a better renal function than those that received Pb alone, with minor pathological damage. Moreover, PU significantly reduced LPO and markedly restored the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants levels in kidney of Pb-treated rats, which may be related to its restoring mitochondrial function. Furthermore, PU administration significantly increased urinary Pb excretion and decreased its level in the serum and kidney. In conclusion, these results suggested that PU reduces renal damage induced by chronic Pb administration through its antioxidant properties and chelating ability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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