Evidence for net renal tubule oxalate secretion in patients with calcium kidney stones

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Feb;300(2):F311-8. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00411.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 1.


Little is known about the renal handling of oxalate in patients with idiopathic hypercalciuria (IH). To explore the role of tubular oxalate handling in IH and to evaluate whether differences exist between IH and normal controls, we studied 19 IH subjects, 8 normal subjects, and 2 bariatric stone formers (BSF) during a 1-day General Clinical Research Center protocol utilizing a low-oxalate diet. Urine and blood samples were collected at 30- to 60-min intervals while subjects were fasting and after they ate three meals providing known amounts of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, protein, oxalate, and calories. Plasma oxalate concentrations and oxalate-filtered loads were similar between patients (includes IH and BSF) and controls in both the fasting and fed states. Urinary oxalate excretion was significantly higher in patients vs. controls regardless of feeding state. Fractional excretion of oxalate (FEOx) was >1, suggesting tubular secretion of oxalate, in 6 of 19 IH and both BSF, compared with none of the controls (P < 0.00001). Adjusted for water extraction along the nephron, urine oxalate rose more rapidly among patients than normal subjects with increases in plasma oxalate. Our findings identify tubular secretion of oxalate as a key mediator of hyperoxaluria in calcium stone formers, potentially as a means of maintaining plasma oxalate in a tight range.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercalciuria / metabolism*
  • Kidney Calculi / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxalates / blood
  • Oxalates / metabolism*


  • Oxalates
  • Calcium