Recent advances in the pathophysiology of nephrolithiasis

Kidney Int. 2009 Mar;75(6):585-95. doi: 10.1038/ki.2008.626. Epub 2008 Dec 10.


Over the past 10 years, major progress has been made in the pathogenesis of uric acid and calcium stones. These advances have led to our further understanding of a pathogenetic link between uric acid nephrolithiasis and the metabolic syndrome, the role of Oxalobacter formigenes in calcium oxalate stone formation, oxalate transport in Slc26a6-null mice, the potential pathogenetic role of Randall's plaque as a precursor for calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis, and the role of renal tubular crystal retention. With these advances, we may target the development of novel drugs including (1) insulin sensitizers; (2) probiotic therapy with O. formigenes, recombinant enzymes, or engineered bacteria; (3) treatments that involve the upregulation of intestinal luminal oxalate secretion by increasing anion transporter activity (Slc26a6), luminally active nonabsorbed agents, or oxalate binders; and (4) drugs that prevent the formation of Randall's plaque and/or renal tubular crystal adhesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology
  • Kidney Calculi / microbiology
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Nephrolithiasis* / drug therapy
  • Nephrolithiasis* / etiology
  • Nephrolithiasis* / physiopathology
  • Oxalobacter formigenes
  • Uric Acid


  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Uric Acid