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Concept: Oxalate


Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) are a widespread disease. Thus, blocking stone formation and finding new therapeutic methods is an important area of study. Diosmin (a major component of the bile) is known to have antioxidant as well as renoprotective effects. The present investigation aimed to evaluate the effect of diosmin on renal tissue protection in rats with ethylene glycol-induced nephrolithiasis.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Vitamin D, Urinary bladder, Vitamin C, Uric acid, Kidney stone, Oxalate


Abstract Blood and urine oxalate determinations have been limited to the laboratory setting because of complex sample storage and processing methods as well as the need for color spectrophotometry and ion chromatography. We hypothesized that glucometer test strips, impregnated with glucose oxidase and dyes that measure secondary hydrogen peroxide production, could be infused with oxalate oxidase and produce enhanced color changes in the presence of oxalate. By increasing the amount of sodium oxalate in fresh blood, we found that glucometer-measured oxalate increased on a linear scale. In addition, oxalate levels in synthetic urine could be measured using a visual scale, suggesting that strip dwell time or oxalate/oxalate oxidase concentrations could be manipulated to enhance optimal sensitivity. Although further testing is necessary, this simple, first-generation oxometer may eventually allow point of care testing in the home or office, empowering patients with oxalate-based medical conditions and giving healthcare providers real-time oxalate feedback.

Concepts: Oxygen, Measurement, Hydrogen peroxide, Test method, Chlorine, Determination, Glucose meter, Oxalate


The incidence of nephrolithiasis is rising worldwide, especially in women and with increasing age. Incidence and prevalence of kidney stones are affected by genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors. The aim of this study is to investigate the link between various meteorological factors (independent variables) and the daily number of visits to the Emergency Department (ED of the S. Croce and Carle Hospital of Cuneo for renal colic (RC) and urinary stones (UC) as the dependent variable over the years 2007-2010.The Poisson generalized regression models (PGAMs) have been used in different progressive ways. The results of PGAMs (stage 1) adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors confirmed a significant correlation (p < 0.03) with the thermal parameter. Evaluation of the dose-response effect [PGAMs combined with distributed lags nonlinear models (DLNMs)-stage 2], expressed in terms of relative risk (RR) and cumulative relative risk (RRC), indicated a relative significant effect up to 15 lag days of lag (RR > 1), with a first peak after 5 days (lag ranges 0-1, 0-3, and 0-5) and a second weak peak observed along the 5-15 lag range days. The estimated RR for females was significant, mainly in the second and fourth age group considered (19-44 and >65 years): RR for total ED visits 1.27, confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.46 (lag 0-5 days); RR 1.42, CI 1.01-2.01 (lag 0-10 days); and RR 1.35, CI 1.09-1.68 (lag 0-15 days). The research also indicated a moderate involvement of the thermal factor in the onset of RC caused by UC, exclusively in the female sex. Further studies will be necessary to confirm these results.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Medical statistics, Urinary bladder, Urethra, Uric acid, Kidney stone, Oxalate


We develop a method to predict and validate gene models using PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) cDNA reads. Ninety-eight percent of full-insert SMRT reads span complete open reading frames. Gene model validation using SMRT reads is developed as automated process. Optimized training and prediction settings and mRNA-seq noise reduction of assisting Illumina reads results in increased gene prediction sensitivity and precision. Additionally, we present an improved gene set for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and the first genome-wide gene set for spinach (Spinacia oleracea). The workflow and guidelines are a valuable resource to obtain comprehensive gene sets for newly sequenced genomes of non-model eukaryotes.

Concepts: DNA, Archaea, Molecular biology, Chromosome, Oxalate, Leaf vegetables, Amaranthaceae, Caryophyllales


Hyperoxaluria is a major risk factor for kidney stones and has no specific therapy, although Oxalobacter formigenes colonization is associated with reduced stone risk. O. formigenes interacts with colonic epithelium and induces colonic oxalate secretion, thereby reducing urinary oxalate excretion, via an unknown secretagogue. The difficulties in sustaining O. formigenes colonization underscore the need to identify the derived factors inducing colonic oxalate secretion. We therefore evaluated the effects of O. formigenes culture conditioned medium (CM) on apical (14)C-oxalate uptake by human intestinal Caco-2-BBE cells. Compared with control medium, O. formigenes CM significantly stimulated oxalate uptake (>2.4-fold), whereas CM from Lactobacillus acidophilus did not. Treating the O. formigenes CM with heat or pepsin completely abolished this bioactivity, and selective ultrafiltration of the CM revealed that the O. formigenes-derived factors have molecular masses of 10-30 kDa. Treatment with the protein kinase A inhibitor H89 or the anion exchange inhibitor 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid completely blocked the CM-induced oxalate transport. Knockdown of the oxalate transporter SLC26A6 also significantly restricted the induction of oxalate transport by CM. In a mouse model of primary hyperoxaluria type 1, rectal administration of O. formigenes CM significantly reduced (>32.5%) urinary oxalate excretion and stimulated (>42%) distal colonic oxalate secretion. We conclude that O. formigenes-derived bioactive factors stimulate oxalate transport in intestinal cells through mechanisms including PKA activation. The reduction in urinary oxalate excretion in hyperoxaluric mice treated with O. formigenes CM reflects the in vivo retention of biologic activity and the therapeutic potential of these factors.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Adenosine triphosphate, Epithelium, Protein kinase, Biological activity, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Oxalate, Oxalobacter formigenes


Increasing evidence shows the importance of the commensal microbe Oxalobacter formigenes in regulating host oxalate homeostasis, with effects against calcium oxalate kidney stone formation, and other oxalate-associated pathological conditions. However, limited understanding of O. formigenes in humans poses difficulties for designing targeted experiments to assess its definitive effects and sustainable interventions in clinical settings. We exploited the large-scale dataset from the American Gut Project (AGP) to study O. formigenes colonization in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract and to explore O. formigenes-associated ecology and the underlying host-microbe relationships.

Concepts: Kidney, Microbiology, Ecology, Milk, Kidney stone, Oxalate, Calcium oxalate, Oxalobacter formigenes


Oxalate, broadly found in both dietary and endogenous sources, is a primary constituent in 80% of kidney stones, an affliction that has tripled in prevalence over the last 40 years. Oxalate-degrading bacteria within the gut microbiota can mitigate the effects of oxalate and are negatively correlated with kidney stone formation, but bacteriotherapies involving oxalate-degrading bacteria have met with mixed results. To inform the development of more effective and consistent bacteriotherapies, we sought to quantify the interactions and limits between oxalate and an oxalate-adapted microbiota from the wild mammalian herbivore Neotoma albigula (woodrat), which consumes a high-oxalate diet in the wild. We tracked the microbiota over a variable-oxalate diet ranging from 0.2% to 12%, with the upper limit approximating 10× the level of human consumption. The N. albigula microbiota was capable of degrading ~100% of dietary oxalate regardless of the amount consumed. However, the microbiota exhibited significant changes in diversity dynamically at the operational taxonomic unit (OTU), family, and community levels in accordance with oxalate input. Furthermore, a cohesive microbial network was stimulated by the consumption of oxalate and exhibited some resistance to the effects of prolonged exposure. This study demonstrates that the oxalate-adapted microbiota of N. albigula exhibits a very high level of degradation and tolerance for oxalate. IMPORTANCE The bacteria associated with mammalian hosts exhibit extensive interactions with overall host physiology and contribute significantly to the health of the host. Bacteria are vital to the mitigation of the toxic effects of oxalate specifically as mammals do not possess the enzymes to degrade this compound, which is present in the majority of kidney stones. Contrary to the body of literature on a few oxalate-degrading specialists, our work illustrates that oxalate stimulates a broad but cohesive microbial network in a dose-dependent manner. The unique characteristics of the N. albigula microbiota make it an excellent source for the development of bacteriotherapies to inhibit kidney stone formation. Furthermore, this work successfully demonstrates methods to identify microbial networks responsive to specific toxins, their limits, and important elements such as microbial network cohesivity and architecture. These are necessary steps in the development of targeted bacteriotherapies.

Concepts: Kidney, Archaea, Human, Bacteria, Gut flora, Kidney stone, Oxalate


The most common presentation of nephrolithiasis is idiopathic calcium stones in patients without systemic disease. Most stones are primarily composed of calcium oxalate and form on a base of interstitial apatite deposits, known as Randall’s plaque. By contrast some stones are composed largely of calcium phosphate, as either hydroxyapatite or brushite (calcium monohydrogen phosphate), and are usually accompanied by deposits of calcium phosphate in the Bellini ducts. These deposits result in local tissue damage and might serve as a site of mineral overgrowth. Stone formation is driven by supersaturation of urine with calcium oxalate and brushite. The level of supersaturation is related to fluid intake as well as to the levels of urinary citrate and calcium. Risk of stone formation is increased when urine citrate excretion is <400 mg per day, and treatment with potassium citrate has been used to prevent stones. Urine calcium levels >200 mg per day also increase stone risk and often result in negative calcium balance. Reduced renal calcium reabsorption has a role in idiopathic hypercalciuria. Low sodium diets and thiazide-type diuretics lower urine calcium levels and potentially reduce the risk of stone recurrence and bone disease.

Concepts: Kidney, Urinary bladder, Urethra, Phosphorus, Hematuria, Uric acid, Kidney stone, Oxalate


PURPOSE: Because of high correlations between dairy intake and total dietary calcium, previously reported associations between lower calcium intake and increased kidney stone risk represent de facto associations between milk products and risk. We sought to examine associations between dietary calcium from non-dairy and dairy sources and symptomatic nephrolithiasis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted prospective studies in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS; N=30,762 men), the Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I; N=94,164 women), and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II; N=101,701 women). We excluded men ≥ 60 years old because we previously reported inverse associations between calcium intake and risk only in men < 60. Food frequency questionnaires assessed calcium intake every four years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to adjust for age, BMI, supplemental calcium, diet, and other factors. RESULTS: We documented 5,270 incident kidney stones over a combined 56 years of follow-up. For participants in the highest compared to lowest quintile of non-dairy dietary calcium, the multivariable relative risks of kidney stones were 0.71 (95% CI 0.56-0.92; P for trend 0.007) for HPFS, 0.82 (0.69-0.98; P trend 0.08) for NHS I, and 0.74 (0.63-0.87; P trend 0.002) for NHS II. The multivariable relative risks comparing highest to lowest quintile of dairy calcium were 0.77 (0.63-0.95; P trend 0.01) for HPFS, 0.83 (0.69-0.99; P trend 0.05) for NHS I, and 0.76 (0.65-0.88; P trend 0.001) for NHS II. CONCLUSIONS: Higher dietary calcium from either non-dairy or dairy sources is independently associated with lower kidney stone risk.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Milk, Urinary bladder, Uric acid, Kidney stone, Oxalate


Monocytes/macrophages are thought to be recruited to the renal interstitium during calcium oxalate (CaOx) kidney stone disease for crystal clearance. Mitochondria play an important role in monocyte function during the immune response. We recently determined that monocytes in patients with CaOx kidney stones have decreased mitochondrial function compared to healthy subjects. The objective of this study was to determine whether oxalate, a major constituent found in CaOx kidney stones, alters cell viability, mitochondrial function, and redox homeostasis in THP-1 cells, a human derived monocyte cell line. THP-1 cells were treated with varying concentrations of CaOx crystals (insoluble form) or sodium oxalate (NaOx; soluble form) for 24h. In addition, the effect of calcium phosphate (CaP) and cystine crystals was tested. CaOx crystals decreased cell viability and induced mitochondrial dysfunction and redox imbalance in THP-1 cells compared to control cells. However, NaOx only caused mitochondrial damage and redox imbalance in THP-1 cells. In contrast, both CaP and cystine crystals did not affect THP-1 cells. Separate experiments showed that elevated oxalate also induced mitochondrial dysfunction in primary monocytes from healthy subjects. These findings suggest that oxalate may play an important role in monocyte mitochondrial dysfunction in CaOx kidney stone disease.

Concepts: Immune system, Kidney, Bacteria, Adenosine triphosphate, Mitochondrion, Cell biology, Kidney stone, Oxalate