Generation of free radicals in kidney cortex plays an important role in the pathogenesis of gentamicin (GM) nephrotoxicity, and curcumin, the yellow curry pigment isolated from turmeric, has been confirmed to have a strong antioxidant action. Therefore, in the present work, we aimed at testing the possible protective or palliative effect of curcumin on GM nephrotoxicity. Curcumin was given to rats at an oral dose of 200 mg/kg/day for 10 days, and in some of these rats GM was also injected intramuscularly at a dose of 80 mg/kg/day during the last 6 days of the treatment. Nephrotoxicity was evaluated histopathologically by light microscopy, and biochemically by measuring the concentrations of creatinine and urea in serum, and reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in renal cortex. The concentration of GM in renal cortex was measured microbiologically. GM significantly increased the concentrations of urea and creatinine (P < 0.05) by about 111 and 97%, respectively. GM treatment reduced cortical GSH concentration by about 31% (P < 0.05), and the activity of SOD by about 27% (P < 0.05). Curcumin significantly mitigated these effects. Sections from saline and curcumin-treated rats showed apparently normal proximal tubules. However, kidneys of GM-treated rats had a moderate degree of necrosis. The degree of necrosis appeared lessened when GM was given simultaneously with curcumin. The concentration of GM in the renal cortex of the rats given GM + curcumin was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that found in rats treated with GM alone by about 39%. The results suggested that curcumin had ameliorated the histopathological and biochemical indices of nephrotoxicity in rats. Pending further studies, curcumin may potentially be useful as a nephroprotectant agent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas