Acetaminophen induced renal injury via oxidative stress and TNF-alpha production: therapeutic potential of arjunolic acid.

PMID 19922764


Acetaminophen (APAP) causes acute and chronic renal failure. The mechanisms leading to hepatic injury have been extensively studied, but the molecular mechanisms regarding APAP-induced nephro-toxicity are poorly defined. In earlier studies, we have demonstrated that arjunolic acid (AA) possesses protective roles against chemically induced organ pathophysiology. The purpose of the present study was to explore whether AA plays any protective role against APAP induced acute renal toxicity; and if so, what pathways it utilizes for the mechanism of its protective action. Exposure of rats with a nephro-toxic dose of APAP altered a number of biomarkers (like blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, etc.) related to renal oxidative stress, decreased antioxidant activity, elevated renal tumor necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide levels. AA treatment both pre- and post to APAP exposure protected the alteration of these biomarkers, compensated deficits in the antioxidant defense mechanisms, and suppressed lipid peroxidation in renal tissue. Investigating the inherent molecular signaling of this pathophysiology and its protection, we found that the mitochondrial pathway was not activated during APAP-induced cell death as no dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential or release of cytochrome C was detected in the respective experiments. Our experimental evidence suggests that APAP-induced nephro-toxicity is a caspase-dependent process that involves activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in the absence of cytosolic cytochrome C release. These results provide evidence that inhibition of NO overproduction and maintenance of intracellular antioxidant status may play a pivotal role in the protective effects of AA against APAP-induced renal damage. AA represents a potential therapeutic option to protect renal tissue from the detrimental effects of acute acetaminophen overdose.

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Arjunolic acid, ≥95% (LC/MS-ELSD)