Protective effects of astragaloside in rats with adriamycin nephropathy and underlying mechanism.
Chin J Nat Med. 2016 Apr ;14(4):270-277. PMID: 27114314
The present study was designed to determine the mechanism underlying the treatment of nephrotic syndrome using astragaloside by observing the effects of astragaloside on the expression of nephrin and podocin proteins and genes in kidneys of rats with adriamycin nephropathy. The rats were injected with adriamycin and, after successful model establishment, randomly divided into a model group, a Methylprednisolone (MP) group, and an astragaloside group. The 24-h complete urine samples were collected. Biochemical indicators were monitored, and kidney tissues were collected for pathological analysis using light microscopy and electron microscopy. The mRNA expression of nephrin and podocin was measured in the kidney tissues using the real-time qPCR, and the protein expression levels of nephrin and podocin were detected using Western blot analysis. At the end of 12 weeks of drug intervention, the urinary protein level was lower in the MP and astragaloside groups than that in the model group (P = 0.008 and P = 0.01, respectively). Serum albumin was higher in the MP and astragaloside groups than in the model group (P<0.001 and P = 0.012, respectively). Podocytes in the MP group were nearly normal, and fusion of podocytes in the astragaloside group was significantly less than that in the control group. The nephrin and podocin mRNA and protein expression levels in the intervention groups were higher (P<0.05) than that in the model group. Due to the increased expression of podocyte-related nephrin and podocin proteins, astragaloside maintained slit diaphragm integrity and decreased the level of proteinuria in rats with adriamycin nephropathy.