Investigation of the protective effect of ellagic acid for preventing kidney injury in rats exposed to nicotine during the fetal period
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We investigated the possible protective effects of ellagic acid on rat kidneys exposed to nicotine during the fetal period. Twenty pregnant female rats were divided randomly into four groups: control (C), nicotine (N), ellagic acid (EA) and nicotine + ellagic acid (N + EA). Nicotine and ellagic acid treatments were continued throughout the pregnancies and for 15 days after delivery. On day 15, all neonatal pups were sacrificed and their kidneys were removed for biochemical and histopathological examination. The nicotine treatment significantly decreased body weight, total glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, and increased malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in the N group compared to controls. EA treatment ameliorated decreased body weight, GSH, GSH-Px and SOD activities, and increased MDA and NO levels in group N + EA compared to group N (p < 0.05). Nicotine caused kidney damage as shown by incomplete development of glomeruli and Bowman's capsules. Nicotine also caused greater apoptosis in group N compared to group C. Ellagic acid treatment produced histological kidney structure that was closer to normal and it exerted an anti-apoptotic effect in the N + EA group compared to the N group. EA played a protective role against nicotine-induced nephrotoxicity and oxidative stress in rats owing to its antioxidant, radical scavenging and anti-apoptotic effects.