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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 819296, 10 pages
Research Article

Skimmin, a Coumarin from Hydrangea paniculata, Slows down the Progression of Membranous Glomerulonephritis by Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Inhibiting Immune Complex Deposition

State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functions of Natural Medicines, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100050, China

Received 28 April 2013; Revised 8 July 2013; Accepted 8 July 2013

Academic Editor: Mohamed Eddouks

Copyright © 2013 Sen Zhang 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.


Skimmin is one of the major pharmacologically active molecules present in Hydrangea paniculata, a medical herb used in the traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent. In the current study, we attempted to investigate its renoprotective activity and underlying mechanisms in a rat model of membranous glomerulonephritis induced by cationic bovine serum albumin (c-BSA). Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into five groups, including normal control, model control, Mycophenolate Mofetil-treated group, and two skimming-treated groups (15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg). Our research showed that treatment with skimmin significantly reduced the levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), urinary albumin excretion (UAE), and serum creatinine (Scr) as compared with model control after experimental induction of membranous glomerulonephritis (). Moreover, glomerular hypercellularity, tubulointerstitial injury, and glomerular deposition of IgG were less intense after skimmin treatment. By immunochemistry analysis, we demonstrated that skimmin could significantly inhibit interleukin-1β (IL1β) and IL-6 expression (), reduce the loss of nephrin and podocin, and suppress the infiltration of renal interstitium by CD3-positive T cell and CD20-positive B cell. These results suggest that treatment with skimmin can significantly improve renal function and suppress the IgG deposition as well as the development of glomerular lesions in a rat model of membranous glomerulonephritis.