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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 984024, 11 pages
Research Article

Renal Protective Effect of Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang on Diabetic Nephropathy of Type 1-Diabetic Mice

1School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Natural Products, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan
3Department of Pediatrics, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada B3K 6R8
4Institute of Medical Science, College of Health Science, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan 71101, Taiwan
5Department of Anesthesiology, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan 710, Taiwan
6Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan

Received 22 October 2011; Accepted 20 December 2011

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2012 Chun-Ching Lin 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.


Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang (XCHT), a traditional Chinese medicine formula consisting of seven medicinal plants, is used in the treatment of various diseases. We show here that XCHT could protect type-1 diabetic mice against diabetic nephropathy, using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and high-glucose (HG)-exposed rat mesangial cell (RMC) as models. Following 4 weeks of oral administration with XCHT, renal functions and renal hypertrophy significantly improved in the STZ-diabetic mice, while serum glucose was only moderately reduced compared to vehicle treatment. Treatment with XCHT in the STZ-diabetic mice and HG-exposed RMC resulted in a decrease in expression levels of TGF-β1, fibronectin, and collagen IV, with concomitant increase in BMP-7 expression. Data from DPPH assay, DHE stain, and CM-H2DCFDA analysis indicated that XCHT could scavenge free radicals and inhibit high-glucose-induced ROS in RMCs. Taken together, these results suggest that treatment with XCHT can improve renal functions in STZ-diabetic mice, an effect that is potentially mediated through decreasing oxidative stress and production of TGF-β1, fibronectin, and collagen IV in the kidney during development of diabetic nephropathy. XCHT, therefore merits further investigation for application to improve renal functions in diabetic disorders.