Vinpocetine reduces diclofenac-induced acute kidney injury through inhibition of oxidative stress, apoptosis, cytokine production, and NF-κB activation in mice

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) represents a complex clinical condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Approximately, 19–33% AKI episodes in hospitalized patients are related to drug-induced nephrotoxicity. Although, considered safe, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac have received special attention in the past years due to the potential risk of renal damage. Vinpocetine is a nootropic drug known to have anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we investigated the effect and mechanisms of vinpocetine in a model of diclofenac-induced AKI. We observed that diclofenac increased proteinuria and blood urea, creatinine, and oxidative stress levels 24 h after its administration. In renal tissue, diclofenac also increased oxidative stress and induced morphological changes consistent with renal damage. Moreover, diclofenac induced kidney cells apoptosis, up-regulated proinflammatory cytokines, and induced the activation of NF-κB in renal tissue. On the other hand, vinpocetine reduced diclofenac-induced blood urea and creatinine. In the kidneys, vinpocetine inhibited diclofenac-induced oxidative stress, morphological changes, apoptosis, cytokine production, and NF-κB activation. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that diclofenac-induced AKI increases NF-κB activation, and that vinpocetine reduces the nephrotoxic effects of diclofenac. Therefore, vinpocetine is a promising molecule for the treatment of diclofenac-induced AKI.Graphical abstract

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