Anti-inflammatory and protective effects of saffron extract in ischaemia/reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury

Leila Mahmoudzadeh, Houshang Najafi, Saeed Changizi Ashtiyani, Zeynab Mohamadi Yarijani
Nephrology 2017, 22 (10): 748-754

AIM: Inflammation is one of the major challenges in the management of ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced acute kidney injury. Our aim was to assess the anti-inflammatory and protective effects of saffron extract against I/R-induced renal disturbances.

METHODS: A total of 35 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 7) as sham, I/R and three groups of I/R that were pretreated with different doses of saffron extract (5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, or 20 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. The I/R-induced renal inflammation was assessed by measuring leukocyte infiltration and mRNA expression levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and tumour necrotic factor-alpha. For the assessment of oxidative stress, thiobarbituric acid reactive species and antioxidant capacity of kidneys were measured in the right kidneys. In addition, plasma creatinine and urea-nitrogen concentrations were determined for renal functional disturbances. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way analysis of variance using the Duncan post hoc test.

RESULTS: The I/R increased all of the measured parameters, except for the tissue level of ferric reducing/antioxidant power, which decreased. Pretreatment with saffron extract in all doses significantly reduced the severity of these disturbances in such a way that there were no significant differences between the FRAP level and urea-nitrogen concentrations between the sham and all three saffron extract-treated groups. However, the saffron extract could decrease the plasma creatinine concentration, malondialdehyde level, tumour necrotic factor-alpha and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and leukocyte infiltration in a dose-dependent manner.

CONCLUSION: The present study showed anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and protective effects for the hydro-ethanolic extract of saffron in I/R-induced acute kidney injury.

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