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Cytoprotective and anti-apoptotic role of Terminalia arjuna on oxalate injured renal epithelial cells


Urolithiasis is one of the painful multifactorial disorders caused by metabolic abnormalities influencing the composition of body fluids and urine. The bark of Terminalia arjuna (T. arjuna), very well known in Ayurveda for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, possesses antioxidant and diuretic activity. The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiurolithiatic efficacy of aqueous extract of bark of T. arjuna on oxalate-induced injury to renal tubular epithelial cells. Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells were exposed to 2 mM oxalate for 48 h to evaluate the protective effect of T. arjuna aqueous extract on cell viability, CaOx crystal adherence and apoptotic changes caused by oxalate. The results confirmed that oxalate injured MDCK cells were protected by T. arjuna extract. On treatment with a range concentrations, the cell viability increased in a concentration dependent manner. Moreover, the extract prevented the interaction of the calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals with the cell surface and reduced the number of apoptotic cells. The current data suggests that T. arjuna bark confers a cytoprotective role and based on our results it could be a potential candidate from natural plant sources against urolithiasis.

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T. arjuna :

Terminalia arjuna


Madin–Darby canine kidney (cell line)


Calcium oxalate


Calcium oxalate monohydrate


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Dulbecco’s modified Eagles’s medium


National centre for cell science


3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Phosphate buffered saline




Propidium iodide


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This study (SR/SO/HS/132/2010) was financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, New Delhi, India. We would like to thank the Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, India for providing the necessary facilities to carry out this study.


The study was funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), India (SR/SO/HS/132/2010).

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Correspondence to Chanderdeep Tandon.

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Mittal, A., Tandon, S., Singla, S.K. et al. Cytoprotective and anti-apoptotic role of Terminalia arjuna on oxalate injured renal epithelial cells. Cytotechnology 69, 349–358 (2017).

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  • Urolithiasis
  • Calcium oxalate
  • Renal epithelial cells
  • Madin–Darby canine kidney cells
  • Phytotherapy
  • Terminalia arjuna