Protective effect of reduced glutathione against cisplatin-induced renal and systemic toxicity and its influence on the therapeutic activity of the antitumor drug

Chem Biol Interact. 1989;70(1-2):89-101. doi: 10.1016/0009-2797(89)90065-3.


Reduced glutathione has been shown to be an effective protector against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity of potential clinical value, since it does not reduce antitumor activity of the cytotoxic drug. This paper extends previous observations on the protective potential of reduced glutathione against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity, in different rodent models. Following i.v. administration, glutathione protection against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity was found to be critically dependent on timing of thiol administration. Whereas the sulfhydryl compound provided almost complete protection in CD rats, the protective effect against toxic renal damage was only partial in mice of different strains. In spite of the modest protection against kidney toxicity, glutathione reduced lethal toxicity in the mouse. Under the same experimental conditions at protective dose levels, the tripeptide thiol did not interfere with the antitumor effectiveness of cisplatin, in any of the tumor models examined. The kidney content of non-protein sulfhydryls of CD rats produced by the effective dose of glutathione was markedly higher than that found in the mouse treated with the same dose. This finding is consistent with a differential protection provided by glutathione against cisplatin-induced renal toxicity in these species.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cisplatin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Cisplatin / toxicity
  • Female
  • Glutathione / pharmacology*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Rats
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Glutathione
  • Cisplatin