Renal Effects of Crude Khat (Catha Edulis F.) Extract when Administered alone and Concomitantly with Gentamicin in Rats

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Addis Ababa University


Khat use has been reported to produce significant acute and chronic toxic effects including oxidative damage of cellular macromolecules such as DNA, lipids and proteins contributing to the development of several pathologies, notably cancer, nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and neurodegenerative diseases. Although various studies have been carried out on the pharmacological actions; the effect of khat induced changes in the redox status of kidney and other tissues has not yet been worked out in details. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate whether khat has a direct or permissive role in causing nephrotoxicity. Sixty four healthy Sprague Dawely rats were divided into eight experimental groups of eight animals and khat was administered in different doses (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg orally) for ten days alone and two days before and eight days in combination with gentamicin (100 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Following administration, animals were killed by light ether anesthesia and blood and renal tissue were used to measure renal markers, including creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, antioxidant enzymes as well as markers for lipid peroxidation using established protocols. Administration of khat at high dose (400 mg/kg) significantly caused marked renal dysfunction as evidenced by increased serum creatinine (p<0.001), blood urea nitrogen (p<0.001), and lipid peroxidation (P<0.001), whereas renal superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymatic activities were decreased (p<0.001) compared to control animals. Furthermore, disturbed renal indices by gentamicin were considerably accentuated by high dose (400 mg/kg) of crude khat extract when given concurrently with gentamicin. Khat alone or with gentamicin was also found to alter renal histopathology, normalized kidney weight and body weight of rats with increasing dose. In conclusion, khat at high dose alone or with gentamicin is able to induce renotoxicity in rats. Key words: creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, superoxide dismutase, catalase, khat, rat



creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, superoxide dismutase, catalase, khat, rat