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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 138719, 7 pages
Research Article

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Attenuates Renal Injury in Rats with Obstructive Nephropathy

1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
2Clinical Biochemistry and Movement Sciences Research Group, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
3Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Received 24 June 2013; Accepted 2 September 2013

Academic Editor: Christian Schwentner

Copyright © 2013 Orawan Wongmekiat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was established to determine the possible protective effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a powerful antioxidant, on renal injury in obstructive nephropathy. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned into sham-operated unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and UUO treated with ALA groups. ALA 60 mg/kg was injected intraperitoneally 2 days before UUO induction and continued afterward for 7 days. Renal function, oxidative stress markers, nitric oxide, transforming growth factor-1 (TGF-β1), and histological changes were evaluated at the end of the experiment. Obstruction of the ureter resulted in renal dysfunction as indicated by significant increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine. Nonobstructed contralateral kidneys in all groups examined did not show any morphological or biochemical alterations. In untreated UUO group, the obstructed kidney developed marked hydronephrosis, leukocyte infiltration, and severe interstitial fibrosis. These functional and structural changes were associated with significant increases in tissue levels of malondialdehyde, nitric oxide, and TGF-β1 but decreases in reduced glutathione and total antioxidant capacity. Pretreatment with ALA significantly minimized all the changes elicited by ureteral obstruction. These findings demonstrate that ALA supplementation attenuates renal injury in rats with obstructive nephropathy and further suggest that oxidative stress inhibition is likely to be involved in the beneficial effects of this compound.