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ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 Feb 13;2014:572697. doi: 10.1155/2014/572697. eCollection 2014.

Salvia miltiorrhiza injection ameliorates renal damage induced by lead exposure in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, 326 Xinshi South Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050091, China ; Department of Internal Medicine, Baoding First Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yuhua Western Road, Baoding, Hebei 071000, China.
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, 326 Xinshi South Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050091, China.
  • 3Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University, 361 Zhongshan East Road, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050017, China.


Exposure to lead (Pb) can induce kidney injury and our recent studies have found that Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) injection, a traditional Chinese medicine, could protect against the organ injury induced by iron overload. This study was designed to investigate the protective effects of SM injection on nephrotoxicity induced by Pb acetate in mice and to elucidate the potential mechanism(s). Healthy male mice were randomly divided into four groups: control, Pb, low-dose Salvia miltiorrhiza (L-SM), and high-dose Salvia miltiorrhiza (H-SM). SM injection dose dependently reduced the Pb accumulation in the kidney, decreased kidney coefficients, and ameliorated renal structure and function from the morphology analysis. Meanwhile, SM administration downregulated serum levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CR), decreased malondialdehyde (MAD) content, and increased activities of super oxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in the kidney homogenate. Moreover, SM injection reduced the level of renal apoptosis by immunohistochemical staining analysis. Our findings implicate the therapeutic potential of SM injection for Pb-induced nephrotoxicity, which were at least partly due to the decrease of Pb accumulation, inhibition of lipid peroxidation, and suppression of renal apoptosis. These results provided preliminary experimental support for Danshen as a therapeutic drug for Pb poisoning diseases.

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