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Toxicol Rep. 2018 Sep 20;5:1153-1160. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2018.09.003. eCollection 2018.

Nephrotoxicity and highly active antiretroviral therapy: Mitigating action of Momordica charantia.

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Department of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria.
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Uyo-Nigeria, Nigeria.
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia.


Momordica charantia (M. charantia) is known for its antioxidant and antidiabetic properties. The aim of this study is to investigate the renoprotective effects of M. charantia in rats following treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen triplavar. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 178.1-220.5 g (n = 36) were divided into six groups (A-F) with each group comprising of six (n = 6) rats. The drugs and extract were administered via oral gavage. The therapeutic dose of triplavar was adjusted using the human therapeutic dose equivalent for the rat model. Animals were euthanized on the tenth week with kidneys removed for examination and blood obtained via cardiac puncture. Levels of oxidative stress enzymes (superoxide dismutase-SOD, catalase-CAT, and reduced glutathione-GSH) were significantly lowered in all groups not receiving M. charantia. The levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were increased resulting in free radical formation via auto-oxidation. Renal parameters showed no albuminuria, normal blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine (SCr) and electrolytes in groups treated with M. charantia. HAART treated (Group B) showed severe albuminuria, a significantly (p < 0.05) raised BUN and SCr and gross electrolyte disturbances. Blood glucose levels were significantly raised in groups not receiving the adjuvant M. charantia (p < 0.05). Histopathology in HAART treated animals showed glomerular capillary abnormalities and cellular infiltrations while M. charantia treated animals showed an essentially normal glomerular appearance with capillary loops and normal cytoarchitecture. In conclusion M. charantia extract administration improved blood glucose levels, restored renal histology, reinstate renal function, reduce body weight loss and restores hyperglycemia.


6-HD, 6-hydroxydopamine; AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome; ALB, albumin; ANOVA, analysis of variance; AREC, animal research ethics committee; BGL, blood glucose levels; BRU, Biomedical Resource Unit; BUN, blood urea nitrogen; BW, body weight; CAT, catalase; DETAPAC, diethylenetriamine – penta acetic acid; DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid; DTNB, 5, 5'-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid); GSH, reduced glutathione; H and E, haematoxylin and eosin; HAART; HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy; HIV, human immunodeficiency virus; Histopathology; KW, kidney weight; KWBR, kidney weight body ratio; Kidney; LPO, lipid peroxidation; M. charantia, Momordica charantia; MDA, malondialdehyde; MT, Masson’s Trichome; Momordica charantia; NRTIs, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors; Nephrotoxicity; PAS, Periodic Acid Schiff; PBS, phosphate buffer solution; PLWHA, people living with HIV and AIDS; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SCr, serum creatinine; SD, standard deviation; SDS, sodium dodecyl sulfate; SOD, superoxide dismutase; Sprague-Dawley rats; TBARS, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; TCA, trichloroacetic acid; UKZN, University of KwaZulu Natal; rpm, revolutions per minute

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