Phyllanthus niruri inhibits calcium oxalate endocytosis by renal tubular cells: its role in urolithiasis

Nephron. 1999;81(4):393-7. doi: 10.1159/000045322.


We investigated the in vitro effect of an aqueous extract of Phyllanthus niruri L. on a model of CaOx crystal endocytosis by Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. The extract exhibited a potent and effective non-concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the CaOx crystal internalization. This response was present even at very high (pathologic) CaOx concentrations and no P. niruri L.-induced toxic effect could be detected. Biochemical analysis of culture media containing P. niruri L. did not provide any clues for the elucidation of the cellular pathways affected by this natural product. Although further studies are necessary for a better understanding of the role of P. niruri L. in urolithiasis, our findings show that this natural product could be an attractive alternative for the treatment of urinary stones.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Calcium Oxalate / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dogs
  • Endocytosis / drug effects*
  • Hydrolysis
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Kidney Calculi / metabolism
  • Kidney Calculi / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / cytology*
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Trypsin / chemistry
  • Urinary Calculi / metabolism
  • Urinary Calculi / pathology*


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Trypsin