Saffron Extract Prevents Vancomycin-induced Nephrotoxicity

Author(s): Maryam Jenabi, Ali Asghar Hemmati, Katayoon Hafezi & Esrafil Mansouri

Background: Vancomycin, a glycopeptide antibiotic, is commonly used against methicillin-resistant Gram-positive cocci. However, the nephrotoxic side-effects of Vancomycin results in dose restriction and reduces the duration of administration.

Objectives: The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effects of aqueous saffron (Crocus sativus) extract on vancomycin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats.

Materials and methods: In this study 32 adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 4 groups of 8 rats; (i) control (ii) saffron (80 mg/kg, I.P.), (iii) vancomycin (200 mg/kg/BD, I.P.) and (iv) vancomycin plus saffron. The saffron treatment began 24 hours before the administration of the vancomycin therapy and lasted 8 days, while the duration of the vancomycin therapy was 7 days. Serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN), renal malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and histopathological changes of renal tissue were analyzed.

Results: Administration of vancomycin caused a significant increase in serum creatinine, BUN and renal MDA levels, whereas, SOD activity was decreased, when compared to the control group. Aqueous saffron extract, on the other hand, decreased serum creatinine, BUN concentration and renal MDA levels but increased the level of renal SOD activity. Substantial histopathological alterations including destruction of kidney tubules, interstitial edema, epithelia vacuolization and epithelial desquamation, were observed with the vancomycin-only treatment group. However, the administration of saffron extract resulted in a significant reduction of damage to the kidneys.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that oxidative stress plays an important role in vancomycin induced nephrotoxicity and saffron extract has a potent renoprotective effect against vancomycin induced lipid peroxidation and nephrotoxicity.

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