The role of histamine and platelet activating factor (PAF) as involved mediators in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications, in particular diabetic nephropathy (DN), has become a new focus of concern. Accordingly, the present study designed to explore the effect of rupatadine (RUP), a dual antagonist of histamine (H1) and PAF, on the progression of experimentally induced DN in rats. Rats were divided into five groups: control, RUP alone, streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic model, STZ/RUP (3 mg/kg/day), and STZ/RUP (6 mg/kg/day). Treatment has continued for 4 weeks after diabetes confirmation. At the end of the study, serum was collected for measurement of glucose, insulin, urea, creatinine, histamine, and PAF. Renal tissue homogenates were prepared for measuring oxidative stress indices, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), cystatin C, and p21. Moreover, immunohistochemical expression of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and p53 along with histological pictures was also conducted. Antagonizing H1 and PAF receptors by RUP ameliorated the experimentally induced DN as evident by decreasing all serum parameters augmented by STZ together with improvement of the histopathological picture. RUP administration also improved oxidative-antioxidative agents with reduction in the anti-inflammatory marker, TNF-α. Additionally, the immunohistochemical expression of the fibrosis marker; TGF-β1, was also decreased. STZ-induced DN showed a p21/p53-dependent induction of premature senescence and RUP administration decreased the expression of p21 and p53 levels in injured renal tissue. RUP represents a novel promising drug to prevent DN complicated diabetes probably via its inhibitory effect on H1 and PAF receptors. The renal protection was also related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant roles and PAF-facilitated senescence effect via p21/p53 signaling.
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