Purpose: We investigated the possible mechanism of increased free radicals, the role of antioxidant enzymes and their correlation with renal tubular damage in the kidney after feeding 0.75% ethylene glycol to male Wistar rats. Materials and Methods: Rats were divided into 7 experimental groups according to the duration of ethylene glycol feeding (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 21 or 42 days) and into age matched control groups. Chemiluminescence levels were examined in blood samples (renal artery and vein) and in the kidney. The activities of oxidase and antioxidant enzymes were measured in kidney homogenates. The nitroblue tetrazolium perfusion method and immunohistochemical stains with ED1 and CD45 were performed. Urinary levels of α and μ-glutathione S-transferase (GST) were also measured and expressed in gm. urinary creatinine. Results: Chemiluminescence levels of renal venous blood samples were elevated on days 1, 3 and 7 (p < 0.05), and those of the kidney were elevated only on days 3 and 42 (p < 0.05) compared with controls. The infiltration of CD45 positive cells in the kidney increased on day 7 and a further increase in these positive cells was noted on day 21. Fused ED1 positive cells surrounding the calcium oxalate crystals and adjacent to the nitroblue tetrazolium positive area were found on day 42. Xanthine oxidase activity showed no significant change, whereas nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dependent oxidase activity was higher on day 5 and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate dependent activity was elevated in all experimental groups (p < 0.05). The activities of catalase and manganese superoxide dismutase were elevated in the early stage. On day 42 almost all antioxidant enzyme activities were attenuated (p < 0.05) except that of catalase. The urinary levels of α-GST were elevated from day 7 until day 42, whereas levels of μ-GST were elevated from day 3 until day 42 except day 5. Conclusions: The possible mechanism that causes free radical elevation in the kidney may be different in the course of nephrolithiasis after ethylene glycol treatment. Initially the systemic circulation may bring the toxic substance into the kidney and cause it to produce free radicals. In the late stage gradually infiltrating leukocytes and decreased antioxidant enzyme activities may cause the kidney to remain under excessive oxidative stress.
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