Background: Atorvastatin (ATOR) is widely used for the treatment and prevention of hypercholesterolemia and
various diseases, such as cardiovascular complication, with little data about the histopathological and ultrastructural renal
alterations that might be induced by this drug.
Objectives: The present study was undertaken to investigate the potential toxicity of therapeutic doses of atorvastatin on the
microanatomy and ultrastructure of renal tissues from Wistar albino rats.
Methods: Adult male Wistar albino rats received an oral daily dose of 5 mg/kg body weight for 90 consecutive days.
Biopsies from both kidneys of each study rat were taken for histopathological and ultrastructural examination.
Results: ATOR-treated rats exhibited glomerular, tubular, and interstitial histological alterations, including degeneration,
necrosis, hyaline droplets, edema, cortical hemorrhages, mesangial hypercellularity, and blood capillary dilation and
congestion. In addition, ATOR exposure increased the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and alkaline
phosphatase with a concurrent reduction in proteins and neutral mucosubstances content of the glomeruli and renal cells.
Moreover, ATOR-treated animals demonstrated glomerular ultrastructural alterations, consisting mainly of capillary tuft
dilatation, glomerular basement membrane thickening, and mesangial cell proliferation. The renal cells of the proximal
tubules demonstrated damaged mitochondria, degenerative cellular changes, endoplasmic reticulum dilatation, lysosomal
and autophagosome activation, nuclear alteration, myelin figure formation, and microvilli disorganization.
Conclusion: The findings of the present work may indicate that ATOR can induce renal histological, histochemical, and
ultrastructural alterations that may affect kidney and other vital organ function.