Naproxen is a common analgesic and antipyretic medication that is widely used around the world. This medicine at high doses leads to liver and kidney necrosis in humans and animals. The mechanism of kidney damage, unlike liver damage, is not well understood and is one of the most common causes of emergency department patients. Therefore, in the present study, the protective effect of curcumin, a compound derived from turmeric, was investigated on renal damage caused by naproxen. For this purpose, 25 male Wistar rats were selected and were randomly divided into five groups. Naproxen was dissolved in a 5% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solution and was injected intraperitoneally at 1000 mg/kg of animal weight. Also, curcumin was dissolved in 5% DMSO and was injected within peritoneum at a dose of 200 mg/kg of animal weight into the relevant groups. After 24 hours of injection, rats were bled and plasma urea and creatinine levels were measured. The rate of lipid peroxidation, the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase in the kidney, total plasma antioxidant capacity, and PGC-1α gene expression were measured. The results showed that naproxen significantly increased the levels of biochemical markers of urea and creatinine in plasma and lipid peroxidation in the kidney; also, it decreased the activity of the antioxidants enzymes. The use of curcumin in naproxen-exposed groups significantly reduced the concentrations of urea, creatinine, and lipid peroxidation. Curcumin increased the activity of catalase, superoxide enzymes, and the total antioxidant capacity of plasma. Also, curcumin increased the expression of the PGC-1α gene, which reduces the effects of naproxen. Therefore, according to the current study results, curcumin could significantly reduce the harmful effects of naproxen on the kidneys. However, in future studies, the effect of curcumin should be evaluated on the naproxen mechanism in the treatment of those patients who need naproxen.
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