Attenuation of oxidative stress, inflammation and early markers of tumor promotion by caffeic acid in Fe-NTA exposed kidneys of Wistar rats

  • Muneeb U. Rehman
  • Sarwat SultanaEmail author


Iron nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA), a chief environmental pollutant, is known for its extensive toxic manifestations on renal system. In the present study, caffeic acid, one of the most frequently occurring phenolic acids in fruits, grains, and dietary supplements was evaluated for its shielding effect against the Fe-NTA-induced oxidative, inflammatory, and pathological damage in kidney. Fe-NTA was administered (9 mg Fe/kg body weight) intraperitoneally to the Wistar male rats on 20th day while caffeic acid was administered orally (20 and 40 mg/kg body weight) before administration of Fe-NTA. The intraperitoneal administration of Fe-NTA-enhanced lipid peroxidation, xanthine oxidase, and hydrogen peroxide generation with reduction in renal glutathione content, antioxidant enzymes, viz., catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase. A sharp elevation in the levels of myloperoxidase, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and serum creatinine has also been observed. Tumor promotion markers viz., ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and [3H] thymidine incorporation into renal DNA were also significantly increased. Treatment of rats orally with caffeic acid (20 and 40 mg/kg body weight) resulted in a significant decrease in xanthine oxidase (P < 0.001), lipid peroxidation (P < 0.001), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (P < 0.01), and H2O2 (P < 0.01). There was significant recovery of renal glutathione content (P < 0.001) and antioxidant enzymes (P < 0.001). There was also a reversal in the enhancement of renal ODC activity, DNA synthesis, BUN, and serum creatinine (P < 0.001). All these changes were supported by histological observations. The results indicate that caffeic acid may be beneficial in ameliorating the Fe-NTA-induced oxidative damage and tumor promotion in the kidney of rats.


Caffeic acid Inflammation ODC Renal injury 



Ferric nitrilotriacetate




Blood urea nitrogen


Reactive oxygen species


Reduced glutathione




Dithio-bis 2-nitrobenzoic acid


1-Chloro 2,4-dinitrobenzene


Nitric oxide


Glutathione reductase


Oxidized glutathione


Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid


Lactate dehydrogenase



The authors are thankful to Centre of Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, for providing the funds to carry out this study.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Division, Department of Medical Elementology, Faculty of ScienceJamia Hamdard (Hamdard University)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Division, Department of Toxicology, Faculty of ScienceJamia Hamdard (Hamdard University)New DelhiIndia

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