Protective effect of thymol on high fat diet induced diabetic nephropathy in C57BL/6J mice

Chem Biol Interact. 2016 Feb 5;245:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.11.033. Epub 2015 Dec 8.


Obesity is one of several factors implicated in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Thymol, a monoterpene phenolic compound found in the oils of thyme with multiple biological properties especially antidiabetic activity. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the thymol against diabetic nephropathy by high fat diet (HFD)-induced diabetic C57BL/6J mice. After 10 weeks of continuous dietary intervention, HFD (fat- 35.2%) to mice presented characteristic features of progressive nephropathy by significant increased in kidney weight, blood, and urinary parameters, glomerulosclerosis, oxidative stress, hyperlipidemia and subsequent renal injuries. After intragastric administration of thymol (40 mg/kg BW) daily for the subsequent 5 weeks significantly decreased the blood, urinary parameters and kidney weight. Thymol inhibited the activation of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Also, significantly increased the antioxidants and suppresses the lipid peroxidation markers in erythrocytes and kidney tissue compared to the diabetic mice. Thymol downregulated the expression level of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and reduced the lipid accumulation in renal. Histopathological study of kidney tissues showed that extracellular mesangial matrix expansion, glomerulosclerosis in diabetic mice were suppressed by thymol. Further, our results indicate that administration of thymol afforded remarkable protection against HFD-induced diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy; Glomerulosclerosis; High fat diet; Lipids; Thymol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Creatine / blood
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / pathology
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / analysis
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Thymol / therapeutic use*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / analysis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Thymol
  • Creatine