Background: Methotrexate (MTX) is an efficacious anticancer agent constrained in clinical use due to its toxicity on non-targeted tissue, a considerable source of worry to clinicians. Because the toxicity is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, the study explored antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) supplementation in nephrotoxicity induced by MTX in rats.
Methods: Rats were randomized into 4 groups (n=6) as follows: Control group; MTX group injected with single dose of MTX (20mg/kg, ip) on day 14; VCO (5%)+MTX and VCO (15%)+MTX groups were pre-treated with VCO diet and injected with single dose of MTX (20mg/kg, ip) on day 14. After 3 days of MTX injection, serum kidney markers, renal activities of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione (GSH) content were determined. Lipid peroxidation level and inflammatory markers- interleukin-6 (IL-6), nitric oxide (NO) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were estimated in kidney. Histopathological alterations were examined for kidney damage.
Results: MTX nephrotoxicity was evidenced by markedly elevated serum renal markers along with significant decreases in renal GSH and activities of antioxidant enzymes confirmed by histopathology. Lipid peroxidation level, IL-6, NO and CRP markedly increased compared to control. VCO supplementation prior to MTX injection attenuated MTX-induced oxidative nephrotoxicity via prominent increases in GSH and antioxidant enzyme activities in a dose-dependent manner. The renal inflammatory markers and MDA depleted considerably compared to MTX control group. Histopathological alterations were mitigated to confirm the biochemical indices.
Conclusion: VCO supplementation demonstrates nephroprotective activity by attenuating MTX oxidative nephrotoxicity via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in kidney. Our results suggested that VCO may benefit cancer patients on MTX chemotherapy against kidney injury.
Keywords: Chemotherapy; Methotrexate; Nephrotoxicity; Oxidative stress; Virgin coconut oil.
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