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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 478049, 17 pages
Research Article

The Protective Effects of Cobra Venom from Naja naja atra on Acute and Chronic Nephropathy

Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Aging and Nervous Diseases, Soochow University School of Pharmaceutical Science, 199 Ren Ai Road, Suzhou 215123, China

Received 15 February 2013; Revised 23 May 2013; Accepted 23 May 2013

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2013 Shu-Zhi Wang 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 investigated the effects of Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) on acute and chronic nephropathy in rats. Rats received 6 mg/kg adriamycin (ADR) once to evoke the chronic nephropathy or 8 ml/kg 50% v/v glycerol to produce acute renal failure (ARF). The NNAV was given orally once a day starting five days prior to ADR or glycerol injection and continued to the end of experiments. The animals were placed in metabolic cages for 24 h for urine collection for urinary protein determination. The kidney function-related biochemical changes and index of oxidative stress were determined with automatic biochemistry analyzer or colorimetric enzyme assay kits. The pathomorphological changes were observed using light and transmission electron microcopies. The levels of inflammatory cytokines and NF-κB activation were determined using ELISA kits, Western blot analysis, or immunofluorescence. The results showed that NNAV relieved ADR-induced chronic nephropathy and glycerol-triggered acute renal failure syndromes including proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, serum electrolyte unbalance, renal oxidative stress, and pathological damages. NNAV reduced kidney levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, but it increased the levels of IκB-α and inhibited NF-κB p65 nuclear localization. These findings suggest that NNAV may be a valuable therapeutic drug for acute and chronic kidney diseases.