Preventive effects of the aqueous extract of Cichorium intybus L. flower on ethylene glycol-induced renal calculi in rats

Document Type: Original Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Sciences and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

4 Molecular Genetic Ph.D, Department of Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Objective: Urolithiasis remains a global problem. Despite the availability of numerous methods, no definite therapeutic agent has been yet introduced for the prevention or treatment of kidney stones. In this study, we evaluated the possible preventive effects of aqueous extract of Cichorium intybus L. (chicory) flowers on ethylene glycol-induced renal calculi in rats.
Materials and Methods: A total of 24 Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups and were treated for 30 days. Group A received drinking tap water, while groups B, C, and D were administered with 1% ethylene glycol for induction of calcium oxalate stone formation. Rats in groups C and D received intraperitoneal injections of the aqueous extract of chicory flowers (50 and 200 mg/kg, respectively) since the first day of the experiment. The urine volume, urine pH, and urinary levels of oxalate, citrate, calcium, uric acid, and creatinine as well as serum levels of calcium, uric acid, and creatinine were measured. After 30 days, the rats' kidneys were removed and prepared for histological evaluation of calcium oxalate deposits.  One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Tukey's test, was performed, using SPSS version 20.
Results: The number of calcium oxalate crystals was significantly higher in group B (ethylene glycol-only treated animals), compared to group A (control), group C (50 mg/kg of aqueous extract), and group D (200 mg/kg of aqueous extract) (p<0.05). On day 30, the urine level of citrate, oxalate (p>0.05), and creatinine (p<0.05), as well as urine pH (p<0.05) decreased in groups C and D, compared to group B. Also, urine calcium level, urine uric acid (p>0.05), and urine volume (p<0.05) were higher in group D, compared to group B. In addition, the serum level of calcium, creatinine (p<0.05), and uric acid (p<0.001) decreased in groups C and D.
Conclusion: The aqueous extract of chicory flower (50 mg/kg) could reduce the number of calcium oxalate deposits in the urine and reduce the level of serum parameters.

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