Mechanism of calcium oxalate renal stone formation and renal tubular cell injury

Int J Urol. 2008 Feb;15(2):115-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2007.01953.x.


Formation of calcium oxalate stones tends to increase with age and begins from the attachment of a crystal formed in the cavity of renal tubules to the surface of renal tubular epithelial cells. Though most of the crystals formed in the cavity of renal tubules are discharged as is in the urine, in healthy people, crystals that attach to the surface of renal tubular epithelial cells are thought to be digested by macrophages and/or lysosomes inside of cells. However, in individuals with hyperoxaluria or crystal urine, renal tubular cells are injured and crystals easily become attached to them. Various factors are thought to be involved in renal tubular cell injury. Crystals attached to the surface of renal tubular cells are taken into the cells (crystal-cell interaction). And then the crystal and crystal aggregates grow, and finally a stone is formed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Oxalate / urine*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Crystallization
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Kidney Tubules / physiopathology
  • Urolithiasis / etiology*
  • Urolithiasis / pathology
  • Urolithiasis / prevention & control
  • Urolithiasis / urine


  • Calcium Oxalate