Objective: To investigate the effects of Shenqi Jiedu Decoction (SQJDD), a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on expressions of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), smad2 and smad3 proteins in renal tissues of rats with chronic renal failure (CRF) induced by adenine, and to explore the mechanisms of SQJDD in treating CRF.
Methods: Ninety healthy Wistar male rats were randomly divided into six groups: normal group, untreated group, losartan group, low-dose SQJDD group, medium-dose SQJDD group, and high-dose SQJDD group. Rat model of CRF was established by feeding 2.5% adenine. Levels of plasma creatinine (Cr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in different groups after model establishment were detected to estimate the renal function of rats with CRF. After eight-week treatment, levels of Cr, BUN, triacylglycerol (TAG), cholesterol (Chol) and albumin (ALB) in plasma were detected. Pathological changes of renal tissue were observed by HE staining. Protein expressions of TGF-beta1, Smad2 and Smad3 in renal tissues were detected by Western blotting.
Results: Compared with pretreatment, levels of Cr and BUN in the losartan group and the SQJDD groups were markedly decreased (P<0.01). After treatment, levels of Cr, BUN and Chol in all treated groups were lower than those in the untreated group (P<0.01, P<0.05). Levels of ALB in all treated groups were higher than that in the untreated group (P<0.01). Pathological lesions of renal tissues in all treated groups were lessened as compared with the untreated group (P<0.01). The Western blotting results showed that the protein expressions of TGF-beta1, Smad2 and Smad3 in renal tissues in all treated groups were lower than those in the untreated group (P<0.01).
Conclusion: SQJDD can delay the progress of CRF by inhibiting TGF-beta1/Smads signal transduction pathway.