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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2005, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (6): 459-462.doi: 10.3736/jcim20050610

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Protective effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza on rats with streptozotocin diabetes and its mechanism

Gang Liu1,Guang-ju Guan1,Tong-gang Qi2,Yu-qin Fu1,Xue-gang Li1,Yun Sun1,Tao Wu1,Rong-zhu Wen1   

  1. 1. Department of Nephrology, Second Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province 250033, China
    2. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Second Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province 250033, China
  • Received:2005-04-21 Online:2005-11-20 Published:2005-11-20
  • Contact: Guang-Ju GUAN


To explore the effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza on renal morphology and renal function of rats with streptozotocin diabetes.


Thirty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups, which were normal control group, untreated group and Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated group. Diabetic nephropathy was induced in rats of the last two groups by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin after unilateral nephrectomy. Then the rats in the normal control and untreated groups were fed with normal saline while those in the Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated group were fed Salvia miltiorrhiza preparation for 8 weeks. The glomerular volume (VG), kidney-to-body weight ratio (KW/BW), urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER) and creatinine clearance (Ccr) were observed. The expression levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), fibronectin (FN) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) were detected by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the end of the experiment.


UAER, Ccr, VG and KW/BW ratio were significantly higher in the untreated group than those in the normal control group (P<0.05). The expression levels of TGF-β1, CTGF, PAI-1 and FN in the untreated group were also significantly higher as compared with those in the normal control group (P<0.05). UAER, Ccr, VG, KW/BW ratio and the levels of TGF-β1, CTGF, PAI-1 and FN in the Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated group were obviously lower than those in the untreated group (P<0.05).


Salvia miltiorrhiza can protect rats with streptozotocin diabetes from diabetic nephropathy by suppressing the over-expressions of TGF-β1, CTGF, PAI-1 and FN in renal cortex.

Key words: Streptozotocin diabetes, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Transforming growth factor-beta1, Connective tissue growth factor, Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1

CLC Number: 

  • R587.1

Tab 1

Primers for quantitative real-time PCR"

Target gene Primer sequence Amplified fragment length
CTGF sense 5’ AGA ACT GTG CAC GGA GCG TG 3’ 526 bp
antisense 5’CCT GAC CAT TCA GAG ACG AC 3’
TGF-β1 sense 5’GCC TCC GCA TCC CAC CTT TG 3’ 396 bp
antisense 5’GCG GGT GAC TTC TTT GGC GT 3’
FN sense 5’TTA TGA CGA TGG GAA GAC CTA 3’ 295 bp
antisense 5’GTG GGG CTG GAA AGA TTA CTC 3’
GAPDH sense 5’ACC ACA GTC CAT GCC ATC AC 3’ 450 bp
antisense 5’TCC ACC ACC CTG TTG CTG TA 3’

Tab 2

Changes of body weight and blood glucose level of rats in 3 groups ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n Body weight (g) Blood glucose (mmol/L)
4th week 8th week 4th week 8th week
Normal control 10 275.6±19.8 344.2±20.6 4.52±0.32 4.88±0.39
Untreated 9 229.3±14.5* 241.8±16.9* 21.60±2.83* 22.65±2.97*
Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated 9 218.6±13.1* 246.4±15.2* 20.75±2.33* 21.49±3.12*

Tab 3

Renal morphology and renal function of rats in 3 groups ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n KW/BW (×10-3) VG (×106 μm3) UAER (mg/24 h) Ccr (ml·min–1·100 g-1
Normal control 10 3.6±0.2 0.48±0.06 0.28±0.05 0.52±0.04
Untreated 9 9.4±0.8* 1.16±0.18* 5.47±0.42* 0.95±0.16*
Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated 9 7.0±0.5* 0.80±0.05* 3.25±0.19* 0.76±0.06*

Tab 4

Expression levels of TGF-β1, CTGF, PAI-1 and FN in kidney cortex of rats in 3 groups ($\bar{x}$±s )"

Group n TGF-β1 CTGF PAI-1 FN
Normal control 10 0.309±0.081 0.394±0.060 0.209±0.056 0.462±0.082
Untreated 9 4.820±0.241* 1.827±0.352* 0.981±0.317* 3.134±0.516*
Salvia miltiorrhiza-treated 9 2.014±0.121* 1.309±0.223* 0.509±0.084* 1.948±0.253*
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