Nephroprotection of Withania somnifera root extract against gentamicin induced nephrotoxicity: a histological evaluation in experimental Wistar rats

Vimlesh Kushwaha


Background: Gentamicin, an aminoglycoside group of drug, used against aerobic gram negative bacteria, is known for nephrotoxicity. Herbal products have a special place in the world of pharmaceuticals with their safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness. Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) roots had known since long for its antioxidant status and free radical scavenging property. So W. somnifera can be used as nephroprotective agent because of free radical scavenging property.

Methods: Total 54 rats were randomised in 3 groups named G10, G20 and G30 according to 10, 20 and 30 days of treatment. In each groups, rats were randomly assigned to any of the three subgroups i.e., control C group [received normal saline (2 ml/100 gm/day) orally consecutively for test duration], gentamicin treated GT group [received normal saline (2 ml/100 gm/day) orally consecutively for test duration and intraperitoneal gentamicin (40 mg/kg) once daily for last five days] and W. somnifera treated WST group [received W. somnifera orally (500 mg/kg/day) for the test duration and intraperitoneal gentamicin (40 mg/kg) once daily for last five days]. Rats were sacrificed 24 hours after the last dose of gentamicin injection. Excised kidneys were weighted and prepared for histological examination.

Results: The mean weight of kidneys in GT group was significantly higher than the WST group in all test durations indicating the antioxidant and free radical scavenging property. This was also reflected histologically as WST group kidney showed less amount inflammation as compared to GT group.

Conclusions: W. somnifera root extract provide nephroprotection against gentamicin induced nephrotoxicity.



Nephroprotection, Gentamicin, Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha, Tubular epithelium

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