Alpha-lipoic acid attenuates cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury in mice by suppressing renal inflammation

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 Oct;24(10):3012-20. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfp242. Epub 2009 May 27.


Background: Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent used in treatment of malignant tumours. However, cisplatin produces various side effects, such as nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, emetogenesis and ototoxicity. Inflammation is an important mechanism of cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Alpha-lipoic acid (alpha-LA) has anti-inflammatory effects that inhibit both adhesion molecule expression in human endothelial cells and monocyte adhesion by suppressing the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signalling pathway. The goals of this study were to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of alpha-LA during cisplatin-induced renal injury and to examine the mechanisms of protection.

Methods: C57BL/6 mice were given cisplatin (20 mg/kg) with or without alpha-LA treatment (100 mg/kg for 3 days). Renal function, histological changes, adhesion molecule expression and inflammatory cell infiltration were examined. The effect of alpha-LA on NF-kappaB activity was evaluated by examining nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of NF-kappaB p65 subunits in kidney tissue.

Results: Cisplatin-induced decreases in renal function, measured by blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine level and renal tubular injury scores, were attenuated by alpha-LA treatment. alpha-LA decreased the tissue levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and suppressed the infiltration of CD11b-positive macrophages. alpha-LA also attenuated the cisplatin-induced increases in the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NF- kappaB p65 subunits in kidney tissue.

Conclusions: These results suggest that alpha-LA treatment ameliorates cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury by reducing inflammatory adhesion molecule expression and NF-kappaB activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nephritis / chemically induced*
  • Nephritis / prevention & control*
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Cisplatin