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Catechin prevents the calcium oxalate monohydrate induced renal calcium crystallization in NRK-52E cells and the ethylene glycol induced renal stone formation in rat

Wei Zhai, Junhua Zheng, Xudong Yao, Bo Peng, Min Liu, Jianhua Huang, Guangchun Wang and Yunfei Xu*

Author Affiliations

Department of Urology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200072, China

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:228  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-228

Published: 17 September 2013



Reactive oxygen species play important roles in renal calcium crystallization. In this study, we examined the effects of catechin, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties on the renal calcium crystallization.


In the vitro experiment, the changes of the mitochondrial membrane potential, expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD), 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), cytochrome c, and cleaved caspase 3 were measured to show the effects of catechin treatment on the NRK-52E cells induced by calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM). In the vivo study, Sprague–Dawley rats were administered 1% ethylene glycol (EG) to generate a rat kidney stone model and then treated with catechin (2.5 and 10 mg/kg/day) for 14 days. The urine and serum variables were dected on 7 and 14 days after EG administration. The expression of cytochrome c, cleaved caspase 3, SOD, osteopontin (OPN), malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in kidney were measured. Furthermore, the mitochondrial microstructure in the kidney was also examined by transmission electron microscopy.


Catechin treatment could prevent the changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and expression of SOD, 4-HNE, cytochrome c, and cleaved caspase 3 in NRK-52E cells induced by the COM. For the in vivo experiments, the EG administration induced renal calcium crystallization was also prevented by the catechin. The expression of SOD, OPN, MDA, OPN and 8-OHdG, were increased after EG administration and this increase was diminished by catechin. Moreover, catechin also prevented EG induced mitochondrial collapse in rat.


Catechin has preventive effects on renal calcium crystallization both in vivo and in vitro, and provide a potential therapeutic treatment for this disease.

Renal tubular cell injury; Renal calcium crystallization; Catechin; In vivo; In vitro