This study was set to investigate the effect of gum Arabic (G.A.) on diabetic kidney disease. We divided sixty male Sprague rats randomly into six groups. Normal control, normal rats treated with G.A., untreated diabetic rats, diabetic rats treated with insulin, diabetic rats treated with G.A., and diabetic rats treated with both insulin and G.A. Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ. Forty eight hr post injections. Insulin was injected subcutaneously (1.6/IU/100g/day). We provided G.A. in drinking water (10 %w/ v).). At the end of the twelve weeks, blood was drawn for measurement of blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C), serum lipids, serum creatinine, and blood urea. Renal tissue oxidative stress (O.S.) was assessed by measuring the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), and the concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA). For histological assessments, sections from segments of kidneys were processed and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) for assessment under the light microscope. STZ- induced diabetes caused an elevation of blood glucose, HbA1c, urea and creatinine, triglycerides LDL and cholesterol, MDA with reduction of HDL, GSH level, and CAT and SOD activities. Histologically, kidneys from diabetic rats showed marked glomerular and tubular changes. Administration of G.A. alone to diabetic rats had a significant hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effect, although the levels achieved remained significantly abnormal compared with the untreated group with no effect on urea and creatinine levels. Co-administration of G.A. with insulin reversed the impact of D.M. on all parameters evaluated including the histological changes and led to normal urea and creatinine levels. We concluded that G.A., in combination with insulin, improves chemically-induced diabetes and its renal complications, possibly by modulation of oxidative stress.
KEY WORDS: Diabetes mellitus; Nephropathy; Gum Arabic; Oxidative stress.