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Free Radic Res. 2003 Apr;37(4):373-9.

Targeting superoxide dismutase to renal proximal tubule cells attenuates vancomycin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3, Asahi-machi, Abeno, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.


Vancomycin hydrochloride (VCM), a glycopeptide antibiotic, has a broad spectrum against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As it is known to induce renal dysfunction, the dose and the duration of its administration are limited. Moreover, the mechanism of VCM-induced renal dysfunction remains to be unclear. To evaluate the involvement of free radical on VCM-induced renal dysfunction, we carried out analysis with a hexamethylenediamine-conjugated superoxide dismutase (AH-SOD) which rapidly accumulates in renal proximal tubule cells and inhibits oxidative injury of the kidney. Male Wistar rats (weighing 200-210 g) were intraperitonealy administered with 200 mg/kg of VCM twice a day for 7 days. AH-SOD 5 mg/kg/day was subcutaneously injected 5 min before every VCM injection. VCM induced renal injury dose-dependently. Biochemical analyses revealed that plasma levels of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine significantly increased in the VCM-treated group by an AH-SOD-inhibitable mechanism. VCM simultaneously elicited an increase of 8-OHdG levels and chemiluminescence intensity of free radical generation in the kidney. Histological examination revealed that VCM also elicited a marked destruction of glomeruli and necrosis of proximal tubules. AH-SOD inhibited these phenomena in the kidney. These results suggested that oxidative stress might underlie the pathogenesis of VCM-induced nephrotoxicity and targeting SOD and/or related antioxidants to renal proximal tubules might permit the administration of higher doses of VCM sufficient for eradication of MRSA without causing renal injury.

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