Doxorubicin (DOX) is a highly potent anti-neoplastic agent widely used in clinical practice, but its dosage and duration of administration are strictly limited due to dose-related organ damage. In the present study, we examined whether theanine, an amino acid derivative found in green tea leaves, can protect against DOX-induced acute nephrotoxicity in rats. Decreases in the creatinine clearance by DOX administration were attenuated by concurrent treatment with theanine, which was consistent with the change in histological renal images assessed by microscopic examination. Theanine had no effect on the distribution of DOX to the kidney. The production of lipid peroxide in the kidney after DOX administration was suppressed by concurrent treatment with theanine. Reduced glutathione content, but not superoxide dismutase activity, was decreased following DOX administration, whereas this change was suppressed when theanine was given in combination with DOX. These results suggest that theanine prevents DOX-induced acute nephrotoxicity through its antioxidant properties.

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