Renal effect of atazanavir-ritonavir in pregnant albino rats

Elias Adikwu, Ben E Ehigiator


Background: Pregnancy could be associated with renal physiologic changes; hence the use of atazanvair/ritonavir (ATV/r) in pregnant women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) could be of safety concern due to its nehprotoxic potential.

Objective: The present study was aimed at assessing the renal profile of atazanavir/ritonavir (ATV/r) in pregnant albino rats.

Methods: Thirty six pregnant albino rats were randomized into six groups (A-E) of n=6. Rats in groups A and B were treated with water and normal saline as placebo and solvent control respectively. Rats in groups C-F were orally treated daily with 4.28/1.43, 8.57/2.86, 17.1/5.7 and 34/11.4 mg/kg of ATV/r for 16 days. Rats were weighed, sacrificed and blood was collected and serum extracted. The serum was evaluated for creatinine (Cr), urea (U), uric acid (UA), total protein (TP), albumin (Ab), potassium (K+), sodium (Na+), chloride ( Cl-) and bicarbonate (HCO3 -). Kidneys were harvested, weighed and evaluated for superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Kidneys were also evaluated for histological damage.

Results: ATV/r-treated groups did not show significant (p> 0.05) changes in the body weight, kidney weight and serum electrolytes, however; serum levels of Cr, U, UA were significantly (p< 0.05) increased whereas Ab and TP were significantly (p< 0.05) decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Kidney SOD, CAT, GSH and GPX levels were significantly (p< 0.05) decreased whereas MDA levels were significantly (p< 0.05) increased in a dose dependent manner in ATV/r-treated rats. Varying degrees of histological damage were observed in the kidneys of ATV/r treated rats.

Conclusion: This study observed dose-dependent nephrotoxic effects in ATV/r-treated pregnant albino rats.

Keywords: Atazanavir/ritonavir; Kidney, Toxicity, Pregnant; Rats


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