Ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one isolated fromPolyporus umbellatusprevents early renal injury in aristolochic acid-induced nephropathy rats

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Aristolochic acid (AA) nephropathy, first reported as Chinese herbs nephropathy, is a rapidly progressive tubulointerstitial nephropathy that results in severe anemia, interstitial fibrosis and end-stage renal disease. Tubulointerstitial injury was studied in a rat model of AA nephropathy to determine whether ergosta-4,6,8(14),22-tetraen-3-one (ergone) treatment prevents early renal injury in rats with aristolochic acid I-induced nephropathy.


Early renal injury via renal interstitial fibrosis was induced in rats by administration of aristolochic acid I (AAI) solution intragastrically for 8 weeks. Ninety-six rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 24/group): (1) control (2) AAI (3) AAI + ergone (10 mg/kg) and (4) AAI + ergone (20 mg/kg). Blood and urine samples were collected and rat were sacrificed for histological assessment of the kidneys on at the end of weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8.

Key findings

AAI caused progressive elevation of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, potassium, sodium, chlorine, proteinuria and urinary N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG). Ergone suppressed elevation of blood urea, nitrogen, creatinine, proteinuria and urinary NAG to some degree, but the AAI–ergone-treated group did not differ from AAI-treated group for body weight, serum potassium, sodium and chlorine. The progress of the lesions in the kidney after AAI administration was also observed by histopathological examinations, but kidneys from rats of AAI–ergone-treated group displayed fewer lesions.


Ergone treatment conferred protection against early renal injury in a rat model of AA nephropathy. Early administration of ergone may prevent the progression of renal injury and the subsequent renal fibrosis in AA nephropathy.

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