Korean J Intern Med.  2019 Sep;34(5):1078-1090. 10.3904/kjim.2017.276.

Shen-Kang protects against tacrolimus-induced renal injury

  • 1Department of Nephrology, Yanbian University Hospital, Yanbian, China. lican@ybu.edu.cn
  • 2Transplantation Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Convergent Research Consortium for Immunologic Disease, College of Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Evidence suggests that Shen-Kang (SK), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, protects against various types of renal injury. In this study, we evaluated whether SK treatment confers renoprotection in a rat model of chronic tacrolimus (TAC) nephropathy.
Rats were treated daily with TAC (1.5mg/kg, subcutaneously) and SK (450 mg/kg, intravenously) for 4 weeks. The effects of SK on TAC-induced renal injury were assessed by measuring renal function, urine albumin excretion, histopathology, inflammatory cell infiltration, expression of profibrotic (transforming growth factor β1 [TGF-β1] and TGF-β inducible gene-h3 [βig-h3]) and proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress, and apoptotic cell death.
Administration of SK preserved glomerular integrity (fractional mesangial area and Wilms tumor 1-positive glomeruli), attenuated tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and reduced the number of ectodermal dysplasia 1-positive cells, and this was paralleled by improved urine albumin excretion and renal dysfunction. At the molecular level, SK treatment suppressed expression of TGF-β1/Smad2/3, βig-h3, and proinflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death were significantly decreased with SK treatment, and apoptosis-related genes were regulated toward cell survival (active caspase-3 and the B-cell lymphoma-2/Bcl2-associated X [Bcl-2/Bax] ratio).
SK protects against TAC-induced renal injury.


Tacrolimus; Shen-Kang; Transforming growth factor beta1; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress
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