The effects of Sutherlandia frutescens in cultured renal proximal and distal tubule epithelial cells.
Sutherlandia frutescens (SF), an indigenous medicinal plant to South Africa (SA), is traditionally used to treat a diverse range of illnesses including cancer and viral infections. The biologically active compounds of SF are polar, thus renal elimination increases susceptibility to toxicity. This study investigated the antioxidant potential, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptotic induction by SF on proximal and distal tubule epithelial cells. Cell viability was determined using the MTT assay. Mitochondrial membrane potential was determined using a flow cytometric JC-1 Mitoscreen assay. Cellular glutathione and apoptosis were measured using the GSH-GloTM Glutathione assay and Caspase-Glo® 3/7 assay, respectively. The IC50 values from the cell viability results for LLC-PK1 and MDBK was 15 mg/ml and 7 mg/ml, respectively. SF significantly decreased intracellular GSH in LLC-PK1 (p < 0.0001) and MDBK (p < 0.0001) cells. Lipid peroxidation increased in LLC-PK1 (p < 0.0001) and MDBK (p < 0.0001) cells. JC-1 analysis showed that SF promoted mitochondrial membrane depolarization in both LLC-PK1 and MDBK cells up to 80% (p < 0.0001). The activity of caspase 3/7 increased both LLC-PK1 (11.9-fold; p < 0.0001) and MDBK (2.2-fold; p < 0.0001) cells. SF at high concentrations plays a role in increased oxidative stress, altered mitochondrial membrane integrity and promoting apoptosis in renal tubule epithelia.