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Am J Nephrol. 2001 Jan-Feb;21(1):69-77.

Oxalate-induced redistribution of phosphatidylserine in renal epithelial cells: implications for kidney stone disease.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Mass., USA.



The present studies assessed the possibility that exposure to oxalate leads to alterations in membrane structure that promote crystal binding to renal epithelial cells. Specifically, we determined whether oxalate exposure produces a redistribution of membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) and an increase in the binding of (14)C-oxalate crystals to renal epithelial cells.


PS distribution was monitored in MDCK cells and in phospholipid-containing vesicles using NBD-PS, a fluorescent derivative of PS. Superficial PS was also detected by monitoring the binding of annexin V to MDCK cells.


Oxalate exposure rapidly increased the abundance of superficial NBD-PS and increased the binding of annexin V to MDCK cells. Oxalate exposure also increased PS at the surface of phospholipid vesicles, suggesting that oxalate may interact directly with PS. The oxalate concentrations that increased superficial PS also increased binding of (14)C-oxalate crystals to MDCK cells, and the increased crystal binding was blocked by annexin V.


These findings provide direct evidence that oxalate exposure promotes both a redistribution of PS and an increase in crystal binding in renal epithelial cells and support the notion that oxalate toxicity may contribute to the development of stone disease by altering the properties of the renal epithelial cell membrane.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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