Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects of virgin coconut oil against antibiotic drug gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity via the suppression of oxidative stress and modulation of iNOS/NF-ĸB/caspase-3 signaling pathway in Wistar rats

J Food Biochem. 2020 Jan;44(1):e13100. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13100. Epub 2019 Nov 12.


Gentamicin is an effective antibiotic against severe infections; however, its major side effect is oxidative nephrotoxicity. We explored whether virgin coconut oil (VCO) could mitigate gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity. Rats were fed with VCO-supplemented diet for 16 days against renal toxicity induced by gentamicin (100 mg/kg bw, ip) from Day 11 to 16. Gentamicin caused marked elevated serum urea, uric acid, and creatinine levels, followed by considerable depletion in renal antioxidant enzymes, glutathione (GSH), while the malondialdehyde (MDA) level increased significantly. It significantly increased renal cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) levels, confirmed by renal histopathology. The expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-ĸB), and caspase-3 was prominently increased. VCO-supplemented diet significantly modulated the levels of biochemical indices, downregulated the expression of NO, iNOS, NF-ĸB, caspase-3, cytokines, and alleviated histopathological lesions. VCO protects against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity; thus, it could be a promising dietary supplement for patients undergoing gentamicin treatment. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Gentamicin is an efficacious clinical antibiotic used against severe infections; however, the robust body of evidence indicates that the nephrotoxic side effect constrained its use. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is an edible oil with growing human consumption and pharmacological effects. Our study has reported herein, for the first time, that VCO diet prevented the nephrotoxicity of gentamicin. Dietary supplementation of this oil could be beneficial in alleviating the nephrotoxic side effect of gentamicin in patients.

Keywords: gentamicin; inflammation; nephrotoxicity; supplementation; virgin coconut oil.