The mechanistic basis of hyperoxaluria following gastric bypass in obese rats

Urolithiasis. 2016 Jun;44(3):221-30. doi: 10.1007/s00240-015-0836-7. Epub 2015 Nov 19.


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is a popular and extremely effective procedure for sustained weight loss in the morbidly obese. However, hyperoxaluria and oxalate kidney stones frequently develop after RYGB and steatorrhea has been speculated to play a role. We examined the effects of RYGB and the role of dietary fat in an obese rat model by measuring fecal fat content and transmural oxalate fluxes across the distal colon compared to sham-operated controls (SHAM). Direct measurements of fecal fat content confirmed that RYGB on a 10 % fat diet excreted 40-fold more fecal fat than SHAM and, on a 40 % fat diet, RYGB excreted sevenfold more fecal fat than SHAM fed similarly. Results from the transport studies revealed a clear effect of high dietary fat (40 %) on colonic oxalate permeability and tissue conductance (G T) with comparable oxalate fluxes in RYGB and in SHAM. Administering a diet containing 10 % fat to both groups distinguished differences between RYGB and SHAM, revealing a 40 % increase in G T in RYGB and a reversal in the direction of net oxalate flux from absorption in SHAM to secretion in RYGB. These changes in colonic oxalate permeability were associated with a fourfold increase in urinary oxalate excretion in RYGB compared to SHAM. Therefore, oxalate solubility and permeability in the RYGB model are promoted by steatorrhea and result in enhanced passive oxalate absorption and hyperoxaluria. To our knowledge, these are the first measurements of intestinal oxalate transport in rats with RYGB.

Keywords: Distal colon; Oxalate transport; Roux limb; Steattorhea.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Hyperoxaluria / etiology*
  • Male
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley