Aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN) is a global term including any form of toxic interstitial nephropathy that is caused either by the ingestion of plants containing aristolochic acids (AA) as part of traditional phytotherapies or by the environmental contaminants in food. Originally, AAN was reported in Belgium in individuals having ingested slimming pills containing powdered root extracts of a Chinese herb, Aristolochia fangchi. However, it is estimated that exposure to AA affects thousands of people all over the world, particularly in the Balkans, Taiwan and China. Despite warnings from the Regulatory Agencies regarding the safety of products containing AA, many AAN cases remain frequently described worldwide. This chapter aims at giving a global picture of AAN through the descriptions of clinical cases and animal models, which were developed to better understand the mode of action of AA when inducing acute/chronic kidney diseases. Major advances in the translational research on biomarkers of AAN are reviewed, with an intended emphasis on the “omics” assessment of this nephrotoxicity.
Part of the book: Advances in Nephropathy