Context Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae) (NS) is traditionally used to treat many conditions such as inflammation. Objective This study evaluates the effects of NS seeds ethanol extract in paracetamol-induced acute nephrotoxicity in rats. Materials and methods Forty-eight female Wistar Albino rats were divided into eight groups: I = sham; II = sham + 1000 mg/kg NS; III = sham + 140 mg/kg (N-acetyl cysteine) NAC; IV = 2 g/kg paracetamol; V = 2 g/kg paracetamol + 140 mg/kg NAC; VI, VII and VIII = 2 g/kg paracetamol + 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg NS, respectively. Paracetamol administration (oral) was carried out 1 h after NS and NAC administrations (oral), and all animals were sacrificed 24 h later. Results Paracetamol administration significantly increased serum urea (88.05 U/L) and creatinine (0.80 U/L) when compared with the sham group (49.80 and 0.31 U/L, respectively). However, serum urea level was reduced to 65.60, 56.00 and 54.18 U/L, with 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg doses of the extract, respectively. Also, serum creatinine level was reduced to 0.64, 0.57 and 0.52 U/L with 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg doses of the extract, respectively. NS administration increased superoxide dismutase and glutathione, and decreased malondialdehyde levels in the kidneys. Kidney histopathological examinations showed that NS administration antagonized paracetamol-induced kidney pathological damage. Discussion and conclusions The results suggest NS has a significant nephroprotective activity on paracetamol-induced nephrotoxicity. It may be suggested that the antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects of NS ethanolic extract originated from different compounds of its black seeds.
Keywords: Glutathione; kidney; malondialdehyde; superoxide dismutase.