Structural study on the effect of trigonella foenum graecum seeds on rats' kidneys

George C. Pribac, Aurel Ardelean, Constantin Craciun, Constantin Puica, Corina Rosioru, Aurelia Covaci, Cecilia Avram, Simona Damian, Endre Mathe, Maria Czapar, Lucian Paiusan, Liana Mos, Coralia Cotoraci

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Through their rich content in polyphenolic flavonoids, the Trigonella foenum graecum seeds exert a protective antioxidant effect and membrane protector, certified by the works of some groups of researchers from India, the geographic area where this plant is used not only for its curative effects, but also as a flavoring food supplement. Most researches focused on the hypoglycaemic and antidiabetic action of the seeds, with only a few reports on the use as a preventive factor in the pathology of the alcoholic kidney. Our work was conducted on an experimental model in vivo; in which the animals were given together with the food two different amounts of grounded seeds, against the background of alcoholic intoxication. The experimental animals were adult Wistar rats, weighing 180-200g, divided into four groups: a witness group (M), which received standard diet and water ad libitum; a group treated with ethanol (ER), administered in the drinking water, 10% (v/v) which received standard diet; two groups that received the same concentration of ethanol, and the food contained 5%, respectively 10% fenugreek flour (T5R and T10R). The ethanol and the flour were administered daily, for 4 weeks. At structural level, the kidney of the animals from the ER group presented aspects of tubular vascular dystrophy, granular-vascular degeneration and vascular congestions, more evident in the cortical area of the kidneys. The electro-microscopic analysis showed at the level of the proximal convoluted tubes, vacuolation in cytoplasm, edemas at the apical pole of the nephrocytes, rarefaction of the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial matrix, the increase in number of the lysozymes and especially deperoxisomes, as well as the congestion of blood capillaries. In the case of the groups T5R and T10R, which received Trigonella flour together with ethanol, the structural and ultra-structural changes produced by the ethylic intoxication were more attenuated, being slightly better in group T5R. The vacuolation of the cytoplasm and the number of lysozymes and peroxisomes was greatly reduced, and the aspect of the mitochondria remained in most nephrocytes similar to that of the witness animals. Most of the nuclei of the cells of the nephocytes have retained their spherical shape, being at the same time predominantly euchromatic, with little heterochromatine and evenly dispersed. Our results plead in favor of using Trigonella seeds as a food supplement to prevent cellular deterioration and improve renal function, together with their already proven hepatoprotective effect (Rosioru et al. 2010; Pribac et al, 2010), in patients suffering from kidney and liver issues caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalStudia Universitatis Vasile Goldis Arad, Seria Stiintele Vietii
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 26 2011



  • Protective effects
  • Rat kidney
  • Renal
  • Structure and ultra-Structure
  • Trigonella seeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Pribac, G. C., Ardelean, A., Craciun, C., Puica, C., Rosioru, C., Covaci, A., Avram, C., Damian, S., Mathe, E., Czapar, M., Paiusan, L., Mos, L., & Cotoraci, C. (2011). Structural study on the effect of trigonella foenum graecum seeds on rats' kidneys. Studia Universitatis Vasile Goldis Arad, Seria Stiintele Vietii, 21(2), 269-274.