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Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017 May;20(5):497-502. doi: 10.22038/IJBMS.2017.8673.

Synergism effects of pioglitazone and Urtica dioica extract in streptozotocin-induced nephropathy via attenuation of oxidative stress.

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Pharmaceutical Science Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.
Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran.



Hyperglycemia promotes oxidative stress that plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Diabetic nephropathy (DN). In this study, we investigated the synergism effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Urtica dioica and pioglitazone (PIO) on the prevention of DN in streptozotocin induced-diabetic mice.


Forty-two mice were divided into six groups as follows: non-diabetic control group, DMSO group (as solvent), diabetic group and four treatment groups which received U. dioica, pioglitazone, U. dioica plus pioglitazone and vitE. Diabetes was induced by a single dose of streptozotocin (STZ) (200 mg/kg body wt, IP) diluted in citrate buffer (pH= 4.6). After 4 weeks treatment, all animals were anaesthetized and blood was collected for serum urea and creatinine levels assessment in plasma and kidney tissue were excised for evaluation of oxidative stress markers.


Treatment with U. dioica significantly inhibited increase in serum urea and creatinine in plasma that were observed in diabetic mice. Furthermore, the elevated level of oxidative stress markers (glutathione oxidation, lipid peroxidation (LPO), protein carbonyl) in renal supernatant of diabetic mice was inhibited by U. dioica treatment. Interestingly, U. dioica promoted beneficial effects of PIO in reducing STZ-induced hyperglycemia, renal damage and oxidative stress markers.


Our findings showed that PIO plus U. dioica have synergism protective effects against STZ-induced nephropathy that can be a candidate as a therapeutic approach in order to treatment of DN.


Diabetes; Nephropathy; Oxidative stress; Pioglitazone; Stereptozotocin; Urtica dioica

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