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Phytother Res. 2019 Feb 15. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6314. [Epub ahead of print]

Celastrol attenuates renal injury in diabetic rats via MAPK/NF-κB pathway.

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Department of Pharmacy, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.
Institute of Basic Theory for Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
The First Clinical Medical College, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, China.
College of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, China.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the renal protective effect of celastrol on diabetic rats. Furthermore, the mechanism of its action was discussed whether it was related to MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathway. There were a total of 36 rats. Six rats were randomly chosen as the control group. The remaining 30 rats were given 1% streptozotocin intraperitoneal injection (50 mg/kg) and were randomly divided into five groups: the model control group, the low-dose celastrol group, the high-dose celastrol group, the Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycosides group, and the MAPK/NF-κB inhibitor group. After 4 weeks of continuous administration, 24-hr urine volume, urinary protein, blood urea nitrogen, and serum creatinine content were observed, and hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining of the kidney and liver were evaluated. p38MAPK was designated by immunohistochemical method, and NF-κB p65 in renal tissue was detected by western blotting. Our results showed that celastrol could not only reduce contents of creatinine and urea nitrogen in blood but also reduce excretion of urinary protein in diabetic rats, improve renal pathological injury, and down-regulate the expression of p38MAPK and NF-κB p65. In conclusion, celastrol could protect kidney of diabetic rats by regulating the signal pathway of MAPK/NF-κB, inhibiting inflammation and delaying renal injury.


MAPK/NF-κB; celastrol; diabetic; renal protection


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