Vinpocetine mitigates proteinuria and podocytes injury in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy
Podocyte injury and glomerular basement membrane thickening have been considered as essential pathophysiological events in diabetic nephropathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible beneficial effects of vinpocetine on diabetes-associated renal damage. Male Wistar rats were made diabetic by injection of streptozotocin (STZ). Diabetic rats were treated with vinpocetine in a dose of 20 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks. Treatment with vinpocetine resulted in a marked decrease in the levels of blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, urinary albumin and albumin/creatinine ratio along with an elevation in creatinine clearance rate. The renal contents of advanced glycation end-products, interleukin-10, tissue growth factor-β, nuclear factor (NF)-κB and Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac 1) were decreased. Renal nephrin and podocin contents were increased and their mRNA expressions were replenished in vinpocetine-treated rats. Moreover, administration of vinpocetine showed improvements in oxidative status as well as renal glomerular and tubular structures. The current investigation revealed that vinpocetine ameliorated the STZ-induced renal damage. This beneficial effect could be attributed to its antioxidant and antihyperglycemic effects parallel to its ability to inhibit NF-κB which eventually modulated cytokines production as well as nephrin and podocin proteins expression.