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Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2019 Apr-Jun;9(2):69-74. doi: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_85_18.

Synergistic effect of berberine and pentoxifylline in attenuation of acute kidney injury.

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Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Medicine, College of Medicine Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq.



To evaluate the renoprotective effects of berberine and/or pentoxifylline in reduction of diclofenac-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) in rats.

Material and Methods:

Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were allocated into five groups, Group 1: Rats treated with distilled water plus normal saline for 12 days. Group 2: Rats treated with distilled water plus diclofenac for 12 days. Group 3: Rats treated with berberine plus diclofenac for 12 days. Group 4: Rats treated with pentoxifylline plus diclofenac for 12 days. Group 5: Rats treated with berberine + pentoxifylline plus diclofenac 15 mg/kg for 12 days. Blood urea, creatinine, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), kidney injury molecules (KIM-1), and cystatin-c were used to measure the severity of AKI.


Diclofenac led to significant AKI by significant elevation of blood urea, serum creatinine, KIM-1, and NGAL. Treatment with berberine showed no significant effect on all biomarkers level compared to diclofenac group except on serum KIM-1 level which also seen in the pentoxifylline group whereas combination of berberine and pentoxifylline led to more significant effect in the reduction of all renal biomarkers.


Combination of berberine with pentoxifylline illustrated a synergistic effect in attenuation of diclofenac-induced AKI.


Acute kidney injury; berberine; diclofenac; pentoxifylline

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