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Int J Prev Med. 2018 Dec 24;9:108. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_54_17. eCollection 2018.

Sex Difference in Gentamicin-induced Nephrotoxicity: Influence of L-arginine in Rat Model.

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Department of Physiology, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.
Department of Physiology, Water and Electrolytes Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Department of Pathology, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.
Department of Medical English, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.
Department of Physiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



L-arginine is an important precursor for the formation of nitric oxide (NO). According to previous studies, NO function is related to gender. Likewise, chronic renal diseases have lower prevalence in female. Gentamicin (GM) is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. According to some studies, males are more sensitive to GM renal nephrotoxicity. This study attempts to find protective effects of L-arginine on GM nephrotoxicity in male and female rats.


Male and female rats were divided into eight groups: Rats were randomly assigned to 8 groups each including both male and female rats. The first and second groups received vehicle (saline), the third and fourth groups received gentamicin (80 mg/kg), the fifth and sixth groups received L-arginine (150 mg/kg), and finally, seventh and eighth groups received gentamicin+ L- arginine. Next, 9 days after administering drugs, blood samples were collected from the heart. After making sacrifices, the level of blood urea, creatinine (Cr), nitrite, and malondialdehyde (MDA) was measured in serums. Likewise, nitrite and MDA were measured in the homogenized kidney tissue.


GM significantly increased serum level of urea and Cr in male and female rats (P < 0.05). However, co-administration of GM + L-arginine significantly did not decrease urea and Cr level in male rats, whereas, in female rats, they significantly reduced (P < 0.05). In response to GM, renal MDA level increased in male and female rats (P < 0.05), and in the presence of GM + L-arginine, the level of MDA significantly decreased in both genders (P < 0.05).


L-arginine demonstrated some protective effects in female rats but did not protect against GM nephrotoxicity in male rats for unknown reasons, probably related to the effects of sex hormones which needs further studies to be confirmed.


Gentamicin; L-arginine; Nephrotoxicity; Sex difference

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