2008 Volume 31 Issue 7 Pages 1422-1428
In our previous study, we reported the renoprotective effect of Hachimi-jio-gan, a Chinese traditional prescription consisting of eight medicinal plants, and also reported the effect of Corni Fructus (Cornus officinalis SIEB. et ZUCC.), a component of Hachimi-jio-gan, on diabetic nephropathy using diabetic rats. In this study, we investigated the effects of morroniside isolated from Corni Fructus on renal damage in streptozotocin-treated diabetic rats. Oral administration of morroniside at a dose of 20 or 100 mg/kg body weight/d for 20 d to diabetic rats resulted in significant decreases in increasing serum glucose and urinary protein levels. Moreover, the decreased levels of serum albumin and total protein in diabetic rats were significantly increased by morroniside administration at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight/d. In addition, morroniside significantly reduced the elevated serum urea nitrogen level and showed a tendency to reduce creatinine clearance. Morroniside also significantly reduced the enhanced levels of serum glycosylated protein, and serum and renal thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. Protein expressions related to the advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) level and actions, oxidative stress such as Nε-(carboxyethyl)lysine, as well as receptors for AGE and heme oxygenase-1 were increased in diabetic rats, but the levels were also significantly decreased by the administration of morroniside. This suggests that morroniside exhibits protective effects against diabetic renal damage by inhibiting hyperglycemia and oxidative stress. These results indicate that morroniside is one component partly responsible for the protective effects of Corni Fructus and Hachimi-jio-gan against diabetic renal damage.