<h4>Context</h4>Severe nephrotoxicity greatly limits the clinical use of the common effective chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide (CYP). Huaiqihuang (HQH) is a Chinese herbal complex with various pharmacological activities, widely used for treating kidney disease.<h4>Objective</h4>This study estimates the protective effect of HQH against CYP-induced nephrotoxicity in rats.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Four groups of 10 Sprague-Dawley rats were pre-treated with once-daily oral gavage of 3 and 6 mg/kg HQH for 5 days before receiving a single dose of CYP (200 mg/kg i.p.) on the 5th day; the control group received equivalent dose of saline. Renal function indices, morphological changes, oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammatory mediators were measured. In addition, phosphorylation of the NF-κB/MAPK pathway and the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome were analysed.<h4>Results</h4>Both doses of HQH reduced the levels of serum creatinine (31.27%, 43.61%), urea nitrogen (22.66%, 32.27%) and urine protein (12.87%, 15.98%) in the CYP-treated rats, and improved histopathological aberrations. Additionally, HQH decreased the production of MDA (37.02%, 46.18%) and increased the activities of antioxidant enzyme CAT (59.18%, 112.25%) and SOD (67.10%, 308.34%) after CYP treatment. HQH protected against CYP-induced nephrotoxicity by modulating apoptosis-related protein and suppressing the inflammatory responses. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of the NF-κB/MAPK pathway and the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome were significantly boosted in CYP-treated rats, which was also abrogated by HQH treatment.<h4>Conclusions</h4>HQH effectively protected against CYP-induced nephrotoxicity, which was associated with regulating oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation, and so HQH may be a useful agent for treating nephrotoxicity caused by CYP.
Pharm Biol (Pharmaceutical biology)
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