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J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Dec 22;6(1):9-13. doi: 10.5455/jice.20161208013809. eCollection 2017 Jan-Mar.

Effect of Nigella sativa (black seeds) against methotrexate-induced nephrotoxicity in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Basrah, Iraq.
Department of Pharmacy, Karbala Health Directorate, Iraq.



To evaluate the protective effect of Nigella sativa (NS) against nephrotoxicity of methotrexate (MTX) in mice.


Four groups of Swiss albino male mice, eight in each group were used. The study was carried on between October 2014 and April 2015. Group 1 (control) were administered 0.3 ml distilled water orally daily for 21 days and injected with normal saline (0.25 ml) IP weekly. Group 2 (MTX group) were treated with MTX, 10 mg/kg IP weekly, while Group 3 were treated with 0.125 ml of NS oil by mouth daily and injected with normal saline (0.25 ml) IP weekly. Group 4 received 0.125 ml of NS oil by mouth daily and injected with 10 mg/kg MTX IP weekly. Oral treatments were administered using a special curved smooth tip nontraumatic metal needle and IP injections were given for 3 weeks at days 7, 14 and 21. Animals were sacrificed at day 23. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) measurements were performed on kidney homogenate. Histopathology of the kidneys were prepared and examined.


MTX has resulted in a small elevation in MDA and reduction in GSH levels in kidney homogenate which was returned back to control values when NS and MTX were administered in combination. Statistical significance was achieved with elevation of GSH by MTX and NS compared to MTX alone. MTX caused histopathological changes suggesting nephrotoxicity in 6 animals out of 8, while no changes were found in all animals treated with MTX and NS.


NS is protective against MTX-induced nephrotoxicity.


Antioxidant; Nigella sativa; kidney toxicity; methotrexate

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