Defective urinary crystallization inhibition and urinary stone formation

Mauricio Carvalho, Jody P. Lulich, Carl A. Osborne, Yasushi Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nephrocalcin (NC) is a glycoprotein produced in the kidney and inhibits calcium oxalate crystal formation. It has been separated into 4 isoforms (A, B, C, and D) and found that (A + B) are more abundant than (C + D) in urine of healthy subjects, but the reverse is seen in human urine of kidney stone patients. To further examine the role of this protein in inhibition of urinary crystallization, nephrocalcin isoforms were purified from 2 genetically pure dog species. Materials and Methods: We studied healthy Beagles, known to be non-stone forming dogs, and Mini-Schnauzers, known to be calcium oxalate stone formers. NC was isolated and purified from each group. Urinary biochemistry and calcium oxalate crystal growth inhibition were measured. Results: Specific crystal growth inhibition activity was significantly higher in non-stone forming dogs (9.79 ± 2.25 in Beagles vs. 2.75 ± 1.34 of Mini-Schnauzers, p < 0.005). Dissociation constants toward calcium oxalate monohydrate were 10-fold different, with Beagles' isoforms being 10 times stronger inhibitors compare to those of Mini-Schnauzers'. Isoforms C + D of NC were the main isoforms isolated in stone-fonning dogs. Conclusion: NC of these two species of dogs differently affects calcium oxalate crystallization and might have a role in determining ulterior urinary stone formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Braz J Urol
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Calcium oxalate
  • Crystallization
  • Dogs
  • Experiments
  • Kidney stone


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