Methods for Preclinical Evaluation of Bioactive Natural Products

Methods for Studying the Activity of Natural Extracts on Renal Transporters İnvolved in the Regulation of Blood Pressure

Author(s): Andrea Gerbino* and Monica Carmosino *

Pp: 229-244 (16)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815123043123010010

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Hypertension is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) due to the deleterious effects that increased blood pressure (BP) has on kidney vasculature. Patients with CKD and hypertension often require a combination of antihypertensive medications to target BP. Several classes of antihypertensive/diuretic agents may have a role in the treatment of CKD and hypertension. Besides these conventional therapies, it is extremely useful to identify new natural sources (herbs and botanicals) of diuretics and their targets in the kidney that can be used alone or in combination with traditional synthetic drugs. The use of herbal medicine and natural products to contrast hypertension has increased many-fold over the past decade driven by documented experimental evidence. However, many nephrologists are unaware of these potential therapeutic benefits in treating hypertension, mainly for the lack of knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying their effects. Indeed, rigorous preclinical assays are necessary to scientifically validate the utilization of medicinal plants for the treatment of hypertension. This chapter provides detailed methods to study the effects of two representative herbal extracts on renal transporters involved in blood pressure regulation by in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo approaches. Of note, these methods can be applied to any herbal extracts. 

Keywords: Nephron, Herbal extract, Aquaporins, Ion channels, Membrane transporters.

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