The Beneficial Effects of Allicin in Chronic Kidney Disease Are Comparable to Losartan

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Sep 16;18(9):1980. doi: 10.3390/ijms18091980.


Recent studies suggest that allicin may play a role in chronic kidney disease (CKD), reducing hypertension and oxidative stress and improving renal dysfunction. In the present study, CKD was induced by 5/6 nephrectomy and the animals were divided into four treatment groups as follows: control (C), CKD, CKD+allicin (40 mg/kg pathway oral) (CKDA), and CKD+Losartan (20 mg/kg) (CKDL). After CKD induction, the rats developed hypertension from week 3 to the end of the study. This was associated with increased creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels in serum, increased albuminuria, increased urinary excretion of N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), increased nephrin expression, and incrased histological alterations in the cortex. The levels of angiotensin receptors and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were decreased in the renal cortex from the CKD group. Otherwise, lipid and protein oxidation were higher in the CKD group than in the control group. A disturbance was observed in the expression levels of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2/Kelch ECH associating protein 1 system (Nrf2/keap1) and the antioxidant enzymes catalase, superoxide dismutase, and heme oxygenase-1. Allicin or losartan treatments relieved renal dysfunction, hypertension, and oxidative stress. In addition, both treatments showed the same efficacy on the expression of angiotensin receptors, the nephrin, Nrf2/keap1 pathway, and eNOS. Further in silico analyses suggest that allicin and losartan could have a common mechanism involving interaction with AT1 receptors. Allicin showed antihypertensive, antioxidant, and nephroprotective effects. The beneficial effects showed by allicin are similar, or even better, than those of losartan. In fact, the effect of allicin on blood pressure and renal function is comparable to reductions seen with losartan, a prescription drug commonly used as a first-line therapy.

Keywords: allicin; chronic kidney disease; hypertension; losartan; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosaminidase / urine
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1 / genetics
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Losartan / administration & dosage
  • Losartan / adverse effects
  • Losartan / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / genetics
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Sulfinic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Sulfinic Acids / adverse effects
  • Sulfinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Urea / blood


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • KEAP1 protein, rat
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1
  • Kirrel1 protein, rat
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Angiotensin
  • Sulfinic Acids
  • allicin
  • Urea
  • Creatinine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Acetylglucosaminidase
  • Losartan