Objectives Danggui Shaoyao powder (DSS), a Chinese herbal compound, has been used in China with established therapeutic efficacy in patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible mechanism of DSS improving DN.
Methods Wistar rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes were used for evaluation of the effect of treatment with DSS on DN. Rats were randomly divided into three groups: control, diabetic and diabetic+DSS. Blood glucose, serum creatinine (Cr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydroxyproline (Hyp) were measured in kidney tissue. Glomerular morphology was observed by light microscopy. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot were employed to determine the proteins levels of TGF-β1 and type IV collagen.
Results Compared with the control group, Cr, BUN, MDA and Hyp levels in DN rats were significantly increased but were significantly decreased by treatment with DSS.
While SOD activity in renal tissue was decreased, DSS can increase SOD activity. The renal pathological changes in the DSS treatment group were ameliorated. Furthermore, the DSS decreased the expression of TGF-β1 and collagen IV protein.
Conclusions These results demonstrate that DSS can ameliorate STZ-induced experimental DN. The mechanism may be related to modulating the expression of collagen IV and TGF-β1 protein.
Acknowledgments This research is supported by a project grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81603527), Science and Technology Project of Henan Province (Grant No. 162102310466), Key Scientific Research Projects of Henan Province Colleges and Universities (Grant No. 16A360010) and Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Scientific and Technological Innovation Talent Support Program (Grant No. 2015XCXRC05).