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Phytomedicine. 2013 Aug 15;20(11):1023-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.04.007. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Effect of catalpol on diabetic nephropathy in rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, PR China.



To investigate the effect of catalpol on diabetic nephropathy in rats.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups and fed with normal pallet diet (NPD) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks respectively. Then the HFD-fed rats were injected with 35 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ) for establishing diabetic model. The diabetic rats were randomly divided into five groups: model group, model plus catalpol 30, 60, 120 mg/kg groups and model plus metformin 200 mg/kg group. The NPD-fed rats were randomly divided into two groups: normal control group and normal plus catalpol 60 mg/kg control group. After administration for 10 weeks, random blood glucose (RBG), glycated serum protein (GSP), 24h urinary protein excretion (UPE), serum creatinine (Scr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and kidney weight index (KWI) were determined. The kidney pathological changes were evaluated by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining. The concentrations of angiotensin II (Ang II), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), fibronectin (FN), collagen type IV (Col IV) in renal cortex were determined. Real time RT-PCR was used to detect the mRNA expressions of TGF-β1 and CTGF.


Catalpol could significantly reduce the KWI, improve the kidney function and pathological change, decrease the tissue level of Ang II, TGF-β1, CTGF, FN, Col IV. Catalpol could also down regulate the mRNA expressions of TGF-β1 and CTGF in renal cortex.


Catalpol may have beneficial effects against diabetic nephropathy. The mechanisms may be related to reducing the extracellular matrix accumulation by restraining the expression of TGF-β1, CTGF and Ang II.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Catalpol; Diabetic nephropathy; Extracellular matrix; Kidney function

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