ISSN: 2251-8363    eISSN: 2251-8819  
J Nephropathol. 2014;3(1):35-40.
doi:10.12860/jnp.2014.08
PMID: 24644542
PMCID: PMC3956906

Scopus id: 84896005820

Original Article

Impact of Momordica charantia extract on kidney function and structure in mice

Saeed Mardani 1, Hamid Nasri 2, Shabnam Hajian 3, Ali Ahmadi 4, Reyhane Kazemi 1, Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei 3 *

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
2 Department of Nephrology, Division of Nephropathology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
4 Department of Epidemiology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Corresponding author: Prof. Mahmoud Rafieian-kopaei, Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran. Email: rafieian@yahoo.com Email: rafieian@yahoo.com

Abstract

Background: Bitter Melon (BM) is known for its hypoglycemic effect and is commonly used in populations.

Objectives: This study examined the effects and safety of bitter melon fruit in laboratory mice.

Materials and Methods: In this experimental study 70 male mice (25-30 gr) were randomly divided into 7 groups. The mice were injected intraperitoneally with single doses of 0, 100, 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 mg/kg and multiple doses 500 mg/kg daily for 7 days. The mice were then observed for 72 hours before sacrificing. Immediately kidneys were taken out for histological examinations. Tubular cell vacuolization and flattening as well as hyaline casts, debris and dilatation of tubular lumen were the morphologic lesions which were assessed with scores from 0 to 4, while zero score addressed normal renal tissue. Serum samples were assayed for kidney function (creatinine; Cr and Blood Urea Nitrogen; BUN). Blood and bitter melon antioxidant activities were measured, too. Data were analyzed with Stata software (Stata Corp. 2011. Stata Statistical Software: Release 12. College Station, TX: Stata Corp LP) using ANOVA and Bonferroni tests.

Results: All single dose groups showed normal behavior after the dosing and no statistical changes were observed in blood parameters (p>0.05). Histological examinations revealed normal organ structures, however, the group treated for 7 days showed statistically a significant change in BUN (p=0.002) and a borderline significance in Cr (p=0.051).

Conclusions: Administration of up to 4000 mg/kg did not have any effect on the mice kidney function and histology, however chronic administration were nephrotoxic. More studies with different dosage regimens are suggested.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

Bitter melon is known for its hypoglycemic effect and is commonly used in populations. This study examined the effects and safety of bitter melon fruit in laboratory mice. The results of this study showed that 4000 mg/kg of M. charantia fruit extract (Bitter melon) as single dose has not any significant adverse effects on renal function and structure. Longer-term consumption for 7 days can cause some complications in kidney tissue and its function. We therefore can conclude that the consumption of this drug for short time and low dose may have not toxicity effects on kidney tissues. However, long term treatment should be checked regularly and if it has disrupting effects, the drug should be discontinued.

Please cite this paper as: Mardani S, Nasri H, Hajian S, Ahmadi A, Kazemi R, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Impact of Momordica charantia extract on kidney function and structure in mice. J Nephropathol. 2014; 3(1): 35-40. DOI:10.12860/jnp.2014.08

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