Reduction of oxalate-induced renal tubular epithelial (NRK-52E) cell injury and inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallisation in vitro by aqueous extract of Achyranthes aspera

Anshu Aggarwal, Simran Tandon, Surinder K. Singla, Chanderdeep Tandon


Despite considerable progress in medical therapy, there is no satisfactory drug to treat kidney stones. Therefore, this study is aimed to look for an alternative treatment by using Achyranthes aspera. Here, the inhibitory potency of A. aspera was investigated on nucleation and the growth of the calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals as well as on oxalate-induced cell injury of NRK 52E renal epithelial cells in vitro. Data are expressed as mean values of three independent experiments (each in triplicate) and analysed by the analysis of variance (P <0.05) to estimate the differences between values of extracts tested. A. aspera extract exhibited a concentration-dependent inhibition of the growth of CaOx crystals but a similar pattern of inhibition was not observed with increase in the plant extract concentration for the nucleation assay. When NRK 52E cells were injured by exposure to oxalate for 72 hours, A. aspera extract prevented the injury
in a dose-dependent manner. On treatment with the different concentrations of the plant, the cell viability increased and the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release decreased in a concentration-dependent manner. These studies indicate that A. aspera extract besides having a cytoprotective role also has a potential to inhibit both nucleation and the growth of the CaOx crystals and can prove to be a potent candidate for phytotherapy against urolithiasis.
Key words: Achyranthes aspera, calcium oxalate, NRK 52E, phytotherapy, urolithiasis

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