Acetaminophen (also called paracetamol, or APAP) induced nephrotoxicity is reported after accidental or intentional ingestion of an overdose of the drug. Renal tubular ultrastructural alterations induced by APAP overdose associated with the induction of biomarkers of kidney injury have not been investigated before. Also, we investigated whether the combined polyphenolic anti-inflammatory and antioxidants agents, resveratrol (RES) and quercetin (QUR) can protect against APAP-induced acute kidney injury. The model group of rats received a single dose of APAP (2 g/kg), whereas the protective group of rats was pre-treated for 7 days with combined doses of RES (30 mg/kg) and QUR (50 mg/kg) before being given a single dose of APAP. All rats were then sacrificed one day post APAP ingestion. Harvested kidney tissues were prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) staining and blood samples were assayed for urea, creatinine, and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. TEM images and blood chemistry analysis showed that APAP overdose induced kidney damage as demonstrated by substantial alterations to the proximal convoluted tubule ultrastructure, and a significant (p<0.05) increase in urea, creatinine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), and malondialdehyde (MDA) blood levels, which were protected by RES+QUR. These findings indicate that APAP induces alterations to the renal tubular ultrastructure, which is inhibited by resveratrol plus quercetin, which also decreases blood levels of kidney injury biomarkers.
KEY WORDS: Renal tubule ultrastructure; Acetaminophen; Resveratrol; Quercetin; Rat model.