Pyridoxamine lowers kidney crystals in experimental hyperoxaluria: a potential therapy for primary hyperoxaluria

Kidney Int. 2005 Jan;67(1):53-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1755.2005.00054.x.


Background: Primary hyperoxaluria is a rare genetic disorder of glyoxylate metabolism that results in overproduction of oxalate. The disease is characterized by severe calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis and nephrocalcinosis, resulting in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) early in life. Most patients eventually require dialysis and kidney transplantation, usually in combination with the replacement of the liver. Reduction of urinary oxalate levels can efficiently decrease calcium oxalate depositions; yet, no treatment is available that targets oxalate biosynthesis. In previous in vitro studies, we demonstrated that pyridoxamine can trap reactive carbonyl compounds, including intermediates of oxalate biosynthesis.

Methods: The effect of PM on urinary oxalate excretion and kidney crystal formation was determined using the ethylene glycol rat model of hyperoxaluria. Animals were given 0.75% to 0.8% ethylene glycol in drinking water to establish and maintain hyperoxaluria. After 2 weeks, pyridoxamine treatment (180 mg/day/kg body weight) started and continued for an additional 2 weeks. Urinary creatinine, glycolate, oxalate, and calcium were measured along with the microscopic analysis of kidney tissues for the presence of calcium oxalate crystals.

Results: Pyridoxamine treatment resulted in significantly lower (by approximately 50%) levels of urinary glycolate and oxalate excretion compared to untreated hyperoxaluric animals. This was accompanied by a significant reduction in calcium oxalate crystal formation in papillary and medullary areas of the kidney.

Conclusion: These results, coupled with favorable toxicity profiles of pyridoxamine in humans, show promise for therapeutic use of pyridoxamine in primary hyperoxaluria and other kidney stone diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / metabolism*
  • Calcium Oxalate / urine
  • Crystallization
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glyoxylates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary / drug therapy*
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary / metabolism*
  • Hyperoxaluria, Primary / urine
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Pyridoxamine / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Glyoxylates
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Pyridoxamine
  • glyoxylic acid