Preparation and characterization of selenized Astragalus polysaccharide and its inhibitory effect on kidney stones

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2020 May;110:110732. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2020.110732. Epub 2020 Feb 6.


Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) was modified using the Na2SeO3/HNO3 method to obtain selenized APS (Se-APS) with a selenium content of 1.75 mg/g. The structure and physicochemical properties of APS and Se-APS were investigated through transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy mapping, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, nano-zetasizer analysis, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. APS and Se-APS did not exhibit toxic effects on human kidney proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells and were able to remove hydroxyl and DPPH radicals, alleviate the damage caused by calcium oxalate (CaOx) monohydrate (COM) crystals to HK-2 cells, reduce intracellular reactive oxygen species levels, and restore cell viability and morphology. Both APS and Se-APS could inhibit COM growth, induce calcium oxalate dihydrate formation, and increase the absolute zeta potential of the crystals to inhibit crystal aggregation. However, the ability of Se-APS to regulate CaOx crystals and protect the cells from COM-induced damage was better than that of APS. These results suggested that Se-APS might be a candidate drug for the treatment and prevention of kidney stones.

Keywords: Astragalus polysaccharide; Calcium oxalate; Cell protection; Crystal growth; Selenization modification.

MeSH terms

  • Astragalus Plant / chemistry*
  • Calcium Oxalate / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial Cells* / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi* / drug therapy
  • Kidney Calculi* / metabolism
  • Kidney Calculi* / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal* / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal* / pathology
  • Polysaccharides* / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides* / pharmacology
  • Selenium* / chemistry
  • Selenium* / pharmacology


  • Polysaccharides
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Selenium