In human diabetic nephropathy, the extent of tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease; fibrosis is closely correlated with renal dysfunction. Although a wide array of medicinal plants play a role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, there are few reports of the application of herbal medicines in amelioration of renal fibrosis, or the underlying mechanisms by which such benefits are mediated. The efficacy of the Ayurvedic antidiabetic medicine Salacia oblonga (SO) root on rat renal fibrosis was investigated. An aqueous extract from SO (100 mg/kg, p.o., 6 weeks) diminished renal glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, as revealed by van Giesen-staining. SO also reduced renal salt-soluble, acid-soluble and salt-insoluble collagen contents. These changes were accompanied by normalization of hypoalbuminemia and BUN. Gene profiling revealed that the increase in transcripts encoding the glomerulosclerotic mediators collagen I, collagen IV, fibronectin, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 observed in ZDF rat kidney was suppressed by SO. In rat-derived mesangial cells, similar to the effect of the AT1 antagonist telmisartan, SO and its major component mangiferin suppressed the stimulatory effect of angiotensin II on proliferation and increased mRNA expression and/or activities of collagen I, collagen IV, fibronectin, AT1, TGF-β1 and PAI-1. Considered together the present findings demonstrate that SO attenuates diabetic renal fibrosis, at least in part by suppressing anigiotensin II/AT1 signaling. Further, it now emerges that mangiferin is an effective antifibrogenic agent. Copyright © 2011 Lan He et al.
Li, Y., He, L., Qi, Y., Rong, X., Jiang, J., Yang, Q., … Murray, M. (2011). The Ayurvedic medicine Salacia oblonga attenuates diabetic renal fibrosis in rats: Suppression of angiotensin II/AT1 signaling. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep095