Biochanin A Ameliorates Nephropathy in High-Fat Diet/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats: Effects on NF-kB/NLRP3 Axis, Pyroptosis, and Fibrosis

Chetan Ram, Shobhit Gairola, Shobhit Verma, Madhav Nilakanth Mugale, Srinivasa Reddy Bonam, Upadhyayula Suryanarayana Murty, Bidya Dhar Sahu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Nephropathy is the most prevalent microvascular disorder in diabetes mellitus. Oxidative stress and inflammatory cascade provoked by the persistent hyperglycemic milieu play integral roles in the aggravation of renal injury and fibrosis. We explored the impact of biochanin A (BCA), an isoflavonoid, on the inflammatory response, nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation, oxidative stress, and fibrosis in diabetic kidneys. A high-fat-diet/streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced experimental model of diabetic nephropathy (DN) was established in Sprague Dawley rats, and in vitro studies were performed in high-glucose-induced renal tubular epithelial (NRK-52E) cells. Persistent hyperglycemia in diabetic rats was manifested by perturbation of renal function, marked histological alterations, and oxidative and inflammatory renal damage. Therapeutic intervention of BCA mitigated histological changes, improved renal function and antioxidant capacity, and suppressed phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and nuclear factor-kappa B inhibitor alpha (IκBα) proteins. Our in vitro data reveal excessive superoxide generation, apoptosis, and altered mitochondrial membrane potential in NRK-52E cells that were cultured in a high-glucose (HG) environment were subsided by BCA intervention. Meanwhile, the upregulated expressions of NLRP3 and its associated proteins, the pyroptosis-indicative protein gasdermin-D (GSDMD) in the kidneys, and HG-stimulated NRK-52E cells were significantly ameliorated by BCA treatment. Additionally, BCA blunted transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/Smad signaling and production of collagen I, collagen III, fibronectin, and alfa-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in diabetic kidneys. Our results indicate the plausible role of BCA in attenuating DN, presumably through modulation of the apoptotic cascade in renal tubular epithelial cells and the NF-κB/NLRP3 axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1052
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • NLRP3 inflammasome
  • TGF-β/Smad signaling
  • apoptosis
  • biochanin A
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • pyroptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biochanin A Ameliorates Nephropathy in High-Fat Diet/Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats: Effects on NF-kB/NLRP3 Axis, Pyroptosis, and Fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this