Therapeutic potential of Naja naja atra venom in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy

Biomed Environ Sci. 2012 Dec;25(6):630-8. doi: 10.3967/0895-3988.2012.06.004.


Objective: To study the protective effects of naja naja atra venom (NNAV) in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy (DN).

Methods: The rat diabetes model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ). Thirty-two model rats were randomly divided into one DN group (n=8) and three treatment groups (n=8 each) that received NNAV at doses of 30, 90, or 270 μg/(kg·day) via oral gavage, another eight rats as normal controls. After 12 weeks, all rats were sacrificed and the changes in serum and urine biological index levels were determined by colorimetric assay. Microalbumin (mALB), N-acetyl-β- glucosaminidase (NAG) and cystatin C (CysC) concentrations were measured by ELISA. Renal tissues were sliced for pathological and immunohistochemical observations.

Results: Comparied with the DN group, serum glucose was decreased by 31.04%, total cholesterol 21.96%, triglyceride 23.78%, serum creatinine 19.83%, blood urea nitrogen 31.28%, urinary protein excretion 45.42%, mALB 10.42%, NAG 20.65%, CysC 19.57%, whereas albumin increased by 5.55%, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol 59.09%, creatinine clearance 19.05% in the treatment group by NNAV administration at dose of 90 μg/(kg·day). NNAV also reduced the levels of malondialdehyde in serum (22.56%) and kidney tissue (9.79%), and increased superoxide dismutase concentration in serum (15%) and decreased it in renal tissue (8.85%). In addition, under light microscopy kidney structure was improved and glomerular hypertrophy decreased by 8.29%. As shown by immunohistochemistry, NNAV inhibited transforming growth factor-β1 by 6.70% and nuclear actor-κB by 5.15%.

Conclusion: NNAV improves biological indexes in DN, and it may exert renoprotective effects in rats with STZ-induced diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Elapid Venoms / administration & dosage
  • Elapid Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Elapidae / physiology*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Organ Size
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxide Dismutase


  • Elapid Venoms
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase