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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 8219287, 11 pages
Research Article

Glycyrrhizic Acid Attenuates Sepsis-Induced Acute Kidney Injury by Inhibiting NF-κB Signaling Pathway

Department of Emergency Medicine, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, 36 Sanhao Street, Shenyang 110004, China

Received 17 April 2015; Accepted 5 July 2015

Academic Editor: José L. Ríos

Copyright © 2016 Hongyu Zhao 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.


Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) is a major active ingredient in licorice. In our study, the effects of GA on acute kidney injury (AKI) in rats and its underlying molecular mechanisms were investigated. The sepsis model was produced by caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in rats. The molecular and histological experiments were performed in the kidney tissues and serum samples of rats. According to the results obtained, GA alleviated sepsis-induced AKI by improving the pathological changes, decreasing the levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (Cre), and increasing the survival rate of rats with AKI significantly. The production of inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, was markedly inhibited by GA. Moreover, treatment with GA inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and expression levels of induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in kidney tissues. Furtherly, the apoptosis in kidney tissue induced by AKI was suppressed by GA. Finally, GA could inhibit the activation of NF-κB signaling pathway. Our study suggests that GA alleviates sepsis-induced AKI by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway, which provides a strong evidence for a new approach for treating sepsis-induced AKI.