Lemon-Derived Extracellular Vesicle-like Nanoparticles Block the Progression of Kidney Stones by Antagonizing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Renal Tubular Cells

Nano Lett. 2023 Feb 22;23(4):1555-1563. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c05099. Epub 2023 Feb 2.


Kidney stones, represented by the calcium oxalate (CaOx) type, are highly prevalent and recrudescent. Cumulative evidence shows regular consumption of lemonade intervenes with stone development. However, the detailed mechanism remains obscure. Here, extracellular vesicle-like nanoparticles (LEVNs) isolated from lemonade are demonstrated to traffick from the gut to the kidney, primarily enriched in tubule cells. Oral administration of LEVNs significantly alleviates the progression of kidney stones in rats. Mechanistically, in addition to altering the crystallization of CaOx toward a less stable subtype, LEVNs suppress the CaOx-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress response of tubule cells, as indicated by homeostasis of specific signaling molecules and restoration of subcellular function, thus indirectly inhibiting stone formation. To exercise this regulation, endocytosed LEVNs traffick along the microtubules throughout the cytoplasm and are eventually recruited into lysosomes. In conclusion, this study reveals a LEVNs-mediated mechanism against renal calculi and provides positive evidence for consumption of lemonade preventing stone formation.

Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum stress; intracellular transport; kidney stone; lemon extracellular vesicles; renal tubular cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Oxalate / chemistry
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Calculi* / chemistry
  • Kidney Calculi* / drug therapy
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Rats


  • Calcium Oxalate