Regulation of renal epithelial cell affinity for calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals

John C. Lieske, Erick Huang, F. Gary Toback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The binding and internalization of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) crystals by tubular epithelial cells may be a critical step leading to kidney stone formation. Exposure of MDCK cells to arachidonic acid (AA) for 3 days, but not oleic or linoleic acid, decreased COM crystal adhesion by 55%. Exogenous prostaglandin PGE1 or PGE2 decreased crystal binding 96% within 8 h, as did other agents that raise intracellular cAMP. Actinomycin D, cycloheximide, or tunicamycin each blocked the action of PGE2, suggesting that gene transcription, protein synthesis, and N-glycosylation were required. Blockade of crystal binding by AA was not prevented by the cyclooxygenase inhibitor flurbiprofen, and was mimicked by the nonmetabolizable AA analog eicosatetryanoic acid (ETYA), suggesting that generation of PGE from AA is not the pathway by which AA exerts its effect. These studies provide new evidence that binding of COM crystals to renal cells is regulated by physiological signals that could modify exposure of cell surface molecules to which the crystals bind. Intrarenal AA, PGs, and/or other agents that raise the intracellular concentration of cAMP may serve a protective function by preventing crystal adhesion along the nephron, thereby defending the kidney against crystal retention and stone formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F130-F137
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1 47-1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Cytoprotection
  • MDCK cells
  • Prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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