Oral beta-glucan protects kidney against ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats

Am J Nephrol. 2008;28(2):190-6. doi: 10.1159/000110087. Epub 2007 Oct 24.


Background: Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is one of the leading causes of acute renal failure. Beta-(1-->3)-glucans are glucose polymers with a variety of stimulatory effects on the immune system. We designed this study to determine the possible protective effect of the orally administered soluble beta-glucan against I/R injury.

Methods: 30 rats were randomly divided into 5 experimental groups (control, sham operated, beta-glucan, I/R and I/R+beta-glucan groups, n = 6 each). Beta-glucan was administered orally to 6 rats of the beta-glucan and I/R+beta-glucan groups. The rats were subjected to bilateral renal ischemia followed by reperfusion in the I/R and I/R+beta-glucan groups. All of the rats were then sacrificed and kidney function tests, serum and tissue oxidants and antioxidants were evaluated.

Results: The serum urea and cystatin C levels were significantly higher in the I/R group compared to the I/R+beta-glucan group (p < 0.01). The serum and tissue antioxidant markers (SOD, GSH-Px) were significantly lower in the I/R group than the I/R+beta-glucan group (p < 0.01). The serum oxidant markers (NO and PC) were significantly higher in the I/R group than the I/R+beta-glucan group (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Based on the present data, we conclude that increased antioxidants and decreased oxidants modulated by beta-glucan attenuated the renal I/R injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins / blood
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / surgery
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Urea / blood
  • beta-Glucans / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cst3 protein, rat
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins
  • beta-Glucans
  • Urea
  • Glutathione