Thymoquinone supplementation prevents the development of gentamicin-induced acute renal toxicity in rats

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2007 May-Jun;34(5-6):399-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04560.x.


1. The present study investigated the possible protective effects of thymoquinone (TQ), a compound derived from Nigella sativa with strong anti-oxidant properties, against gentamicin (GM)-induced nephrotoxicity. 2. A total of 40 adult male Wistar albino rats was divided into four groups. Rats in the first group were injected daily with normal saline (2.5 mL/kg, i.p.) for 8 consecutive days, whereas rats in the second group received TQ (50 mg/L in drinking water) for 8 consecutive days. Animals in the third group were injected daily with GM (80 mg/kg, i.p.) for 8 consecutive days, whereas animals in the fourth group received a combination of GM (80 mg/kg, i.p.) and TQ (50 mg/L in drinking water) for 8 consecutive days. 3. Gentamicin resulted in a significant increase in serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and total nitrate/nitrite (NOx) and a significant decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) and ATP levels in kidney tissues. 4. Interestingly, TQ supplementation resulted in a complete reversal of the GM-induced increase in BUN, creatinine, TBARS and NOx and decrease in GSH, GPx, CAT and ATP to control values. Moreover, histopathological examination of kidney tissues confirmed the biochemical data, wherein TQ supplementation prevents GM-induced degenerative changes in kidney tissues. 5. Data from the present study suggest that TQ supplementation prevents the development of GM-induced acute renal failure by a mechanism related, at least in part, to its ability to decrease oxidative stress and to preserve the activity of the anti-oxidant enzymes, as well as it ability to prevent the energy decline in kidney tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Benzoquinones / administration & dosage
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage
  • Gentamicins / toxicity*
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry
  • Nitrates / blood
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Benzoquinones
  • Gentamicins
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Creatinine
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glutathione
  • thymoquinone