Treatment of 5/6 nephrectomy rats with sulodexide: a novel therapy for chronic renal failure

Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2012 May;33(5):644-51. doi: 10.1038/aps.2012.2.


Aim: Sulodexide, a glycosaminoglycan, could reduce albuminuria in diabetic patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether sulodexide could be used to treat chronic kidney failure in rats.

Methods: Sixty Wistar rats undergone 5/6 nephrectomy, then were randomly divided into 4 groups: the model group, sulodexide group (sulodexide 5 mg/kg per day, im), irbesartan group irbesartan (20 mg/kg per day, ig) and sulodexide plus irbesartan group. Another 12 rats were enrolled into the sham operation group. After the treatments for 4, 8 and 12 weeks, urinary protein and serum creatinine levels were measured. After 12 weeks, serum cholesterin and triglycerides levels were measured, and the degrees of glomerular sclerosis and renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis were scored. The expression of aminopeptidase P (JG-12) in the renal tissue was examined using immunohistochemical staining. The renal expressions of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) were detected with RT-PCR and Western blot.

Results: Proteinuria was markedly attenuated in the sulodexide-treated groups. After 4 and 8 weeks only the sulodexide-treated groups showed significant reduction in serum creatinine; while after 12 weeks all the three treatment groups showed significant reduction in serum creatinine. Furthermore, all the three treatment groups showed significant reduction in the scores of glomerular sclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The glomerular expression of JG-12 was increased in both the sulodexide group and the sulodexide plus irbesartan group, but not in the irbesartan group. The eNOS mRNA and protein expression was decreased and the tPA mRNA and protein expression was significantly increased in the model group compared with Sham group. Sulodexide, irbesartan, and their combination reversed the decrease of eNOS expression but increased the tPA expression much more compared with model group.

Conclusion: Sulodexide was similar to irbesartan that can decrease proteinuria and attenuate renal lesions in 5/6 nephrectomy rats. The renal protection by sulodexide might be achieved via its impact on renal vascular endothelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrosis
  • Glycosaminoglycans / pharmacology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Irbesartan
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / genetics
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Proteinuria / drug therapy
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sclerosis
  • Tetrazoles / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / genetics
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Biomarkers
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tetrazoles
  • Triglycerides
  • glucuronyl glucosamine glycan sulfate
  • Creatinine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, rat
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator
  • Irbesartan