Oxalate ions and calcium oxalate crystal-induced up-regulation of osteopontin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in renal fibroblasts

Tohru Umekawa, Masanori Iguchi, Hirotsugu Uemura, Saeed R. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To examine the responses of renal fibroblasts to high oxalate (Ox) and calcium Ox (CaOx) crystals, as the latter are found in the renal interstitium of patients with primary or enteric hyperoxaluria, and in animals with experimental CaOx nephrolithiasis, and are associated with tubulointerstitial inflammation (TI). TI might begin with the production of chemoattractants by the renal epithelial cells exposed to high Ox and/or CaOx crystals; as Ox levels are also high in the renal interstitium and crystal deposition in nephrolithiasis might start in the interstitium, we hypothesized that renal fibroblasts might also be involved in the development of TI. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We exposed renal fibroblast cells of line NRK 49F in vitro to Ox ions (500 μmol/L) or CaOx monohydrate crystals (67 μg/cm2). We assessed the production of osteopontin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and expression of their mRNA, in the cells. We also determined the cellular malondialdehyde content as a marker of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced lipid peroxidation, and Trypan blue staining and the release of lactate dehydrogenase as markers of injury. RESULTS: Similar to renal epithelial cells, renal fibroblasts were stimulated by exposure to Ox and CaOx crystals. They showed signs of injury and ROS-induced lipid peroxidation. The mRNA expression and production of osteopontin and MCP-1 increased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that fibroblasts respond to high Ox and CaOx crystals by up-regulating specific pathways producing pro-inflammatory conditions. Migration of monocytes/macrophages to sites of interstitial crystal deposits can lead to localized interstitial inflammation and fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-660
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Fibroblasts
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney stones
  • MCP-1
  • Osteopontin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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