FIGURE 7.2 Histological examination of rat kidney (40X). (a) Control rat show normal morphology; (b) cisplatin-treated rat show renal tubules with hyaline casts, swelling, and vacuolization and proximal tubular necrosis; and (c) Cisplatin + Spirulina-treated rat show minimal tubular necrosis.

has been confirmed by the histological examination of kidney in the regions of cortex and corticomedullary junctions (Figure 7.2). While the control rats have shown no signs of abnormality in the kidney, in the cisplatin-treated animals, a marked proximal tubular necrosis, extensive epithelial vacuolization, swelling and tubular dilation, and renal tubules with hyaline casts have been clearly evident (Figure 7.2b). The alterations in glomerulus and tubular epithelium are less severe in the animals treated with cisplatin and Spirulina together when compared with that in the animals treated with cisplatin alone (Figure 7.2c), further revealing that Spirulina offers protection against the cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. Spirulina pretreatment has significantly attenuated the cisplatin-induced increase in the extent of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde, (MDA) formation) in the plasma and kidney and decrease in the activities of SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase (Figures 7.3 and 7.4). Though the results of this study suggest that Spirulina offers protection against the cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity through the inhibition of oxidative stress, the involvement of other possible mechanim(s) cannot be ruled out. Studies reported by others reveal that apoptosis is involved in the cisplatin-induced renal injury.123,124 Recently, we have demonstrated that Spirulina and C-phycocyanin have significantly inhibited the doxorubicin-induced free radical generation and apoptosis by attenuating caspase-3 activity in the isolated rat cardiomyocytes125 and also have ameliorated the ischemia-reperfusion injury in isolated rat heart model.126 Another

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