Protective effects of N-acetylcystein and atorvastatin against renal and hepatic injury in a rat model of intestinal ischemia-reperfusion

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 May;89:673-680. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.02.086. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


Aim of the study: We sought to examine whether the separate and combined effect of N-acetylcystein (NAC) and atorvastatin prevented hepatic and renal tissue injury induced by intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R).

Material and methods: 40 male Wistar rats were allocated into 5 experimental groups; Control (n=8): sham, I/R (n=8): rats underwent occlusion of superior mesenteric artery for 45min, Atorvastatin (n=8): rats received 10mg/kg atorvastatin, NAC (n=8): rats received 160mg/kg NAC, NAC&Atorvastatin (n=8): rats received both aforementioned agents. Administration of the agents was facilitated by oral gavage 24h before I/R. Serum levels of urea, creatinine, transaminases, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, ICAM-1, as well as liver and kidney histopathological examination were evaluated.

Results: Pretreatment with either NAC or Atorvastatin or their combination led to lower levels of transaminases and ICAM-1 (2.75±0.46, 2.88±0.84 and 1.5±0.76 respectively for NAC, Atorvastatin and I/R groups), while only their combination led to lower ratios of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α than I/R group (1.3±0.12 vs 1.94±0.54, 1.21±0.11 vs 2.12±0.96 and 1.33±0.11 vs 2.14±0.77, respectively). NAC was associated with enhanced renal tissue histology, while atorvastatin was found superior in protecting hepatic tissue degenaration.

Conclusions: Both agents, seperately and combined, seem to exhibited tissue-specific protective activity against intestinal I/R induced injury.

Keywords: Atrorvastatin; Intestinal; Ischemia-reperfusion; N-Acetylcystein; Rats.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Atorvastatin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Intestines / blood supply*
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • Antioxidants
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Protective Agents
  • Atorvastatin
  • Acetylcysteine