The primary hyperoxalurias (PHs) are inborn errors of glyoxylate metabolism characterized by endogenous oxalate overproduction in the liver, and thus elevated urinary oxalate excretion. The urinary calcium-oxalate (CaOx) supersaturation and the continuous renal accumulation of insoluble CaOx crystals yield a progressive decline in renal function that often ends with renal failure. In PH Type 1 (AGXT mutated), the most frequent and severe condition, patients typically progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD); in PH Type 2 (GRHPR mutated), 20% of patients develop ESRD, while only one patient with PH Type 3 (HOGA1 mutated) has been reported with ESRD so far. Patients with ESRD undergo frequent maintenance (haemo)dialysis treatment, and finally must receive a combined liver-kidney transplantation as the only curative treatment option available in PH Type 1. In experimental models using oxalate-enriched chow, CaOx crystals were bound to renal tubular cells, promoting a pro-inflammatory environment that led to fibrogenesis in the renal parenchyma by activation of a NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NALP3)-dependent inflammasome in renal dendritic cells and macrophages. Chronic fibrogenesis progressively impaired renal function. Targeting the inflammatory response has recently been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to treat not only oxalate-induced crystalline nephropathies, but also those characterized by accumulation of cystine and urate in other organs. Herein, we summarize the pathogenesis of PH, revising the current knowledge of the CaOx-mediated inflammatory response in animal models of endogenous oxalate overproduction. Furthermore, we highlight the possibility of modifying the NLRP3-dependent inflammasome as a new and complementary therapeutic strategy to treat this severe and devastating kidney disease.
Keywords: NLRP3-inflammasome; calcium-oxalate; immune response; primary hyperoxaluria; renal failure.
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.