Toxicological Assessment of Co-treatment with Rifampicin and Tenofovir on Serum Electrolytes and Kidney Histology of Albino Rats

Elias Adikwu, Rejoice O Igbans, Nelson Brambaifa


Background: Tenofovir and rifampicin have been individually implicated in renal toxicity characterized by electrolytes imbalance; hence concurrent use in human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis co-infection might induced synergistic electrolytes imbalance and kidney damage.

Objectives: This study comparatively evaluated the effects of treatment with tenofovir, rifampicin and a combination of tenofovir-rifampicin on serum electrolytes levels and kidney histology of male albino rats.

Methodology: Healthy adult male albino rats used for this study were divided into five (5) groups of sixteen animals (16) each. Animals in group A (placebo control) were treated orally with water while animals in group B (solvent control) were treated orally with arachis oil. Animals in groups C-E were treated orally with 80mg/kg of rifampicin, 32 mg/kg of tenofovir and tenofovir-rifampicin combination for 1-8 weeks respectively. At the end of drug therapy the animals were sacrificed and blood samples collected. Serum was extracted from the blood samples and analyzed for chloride, sodium, calcium, potassium and bicarbonate levels. Animals were dissected, kidney collected and analyzed for histopathological changes.

Results: Treatment with a combination of tenofovir-rifampicin for 1-8 weeks did not produce significant (p>0.05) time-dependent effects on serum electrolytes when compared to treatment using individual doses of these agents. Kidneys of animals treated with these agents showed tubular necrosis, collapsed glomerular and collection of fibrous material on bowman’s space.

Discussion and Conclusion: Treatment with a combination of tenofovir-rifampicin did not produce synergistic effects on serum electrolytes and kidney damage. The use of tenofovir – rifampicin combination in human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis co-infection may not be associated with electrolytes imbalance and kidney damage considering the dose level used for this study.

Keywords: Tenofovir, Rifampicin, Toxicity, Electrolytes, Kidney, Rats

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