Objective: Investigate the effects of compound Radix Notoginseng on renal interstitial fibrosis and kidney-targeting treatment.
Methods: 100 healthy Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) group, sham-operation (SOR) group, Radix Notoginseng (RN) group, compound Radix Notoginseng (CRN) group and Losartan (ARB) group. After operation, RN, CRN and ARB groups were intragastric administrated with RN (3 mL/d), CRN (3 mL/d) and ARB [20 mg/(kg x d)] respectively. Each group randomly included 18 rats for statistical analysis. The histological changes of renal interstitial tissues were observed by HE, Masson and PAS staining. Total kidney collagen content was determined by measuring the amount of hydroxyproline. The mRNA of alpha-SMA, collagen I and fibronectin were reverse transcribed and quantified by real-time PCR. The expression of alpha-SMA protein was assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis.
Results: In UUO model, the obstructed kidney showed typical features of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, such as severe tubular loss, dilation, atrophy, infiltration of inflammatory cells, interstitial matrix deposition (P < 0.05). Partial correlation assay showed that the expression of alpha-SMA was related to the renal tubular injury (r = 0.55; P < 0.05). Administration of RN, CRN and ARB improved tubulointerstitial damage and collagen matrix accumulation induced by UUO in different degree. The expression of the alpha-SMA at mRNA and protein levels were significantly increased in the UUO group (P < 0.05), which was also suppressed by treatment with RN, CRN and ARB in different degree. Moreover, more effective role in preventing fibrosis was observed in CRN group than when compared with that of RN group.
Conclusion: RN and CRN can inhibit UUO-induced renal interstitial fibrosis in rats, and CRN treatment is more effective than RN in reducing interstitial fibrosis.