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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Immunohistochemical localization and mRNA quantification of osteopontin and Tamm-Horsfall protein in canine renal tissue after potassium oxalate injection

Walaa Mohamaden12, Heng Wang12, Huawei Guan12, Xia Meng12 and Jianji Li12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225009, China

2 Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225009, China

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:70  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-70

Published: 17 March 2014



Urinary macromolecules contribute to promoting or inhibiting crystal retention in renal tissue and stone formation. Osteopontin (OPN) and Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) are the most important proteins involved in this process. Although these two proteins were discovered a long time ago, their role in setting kidney stone formation has not yet been fully investigated. We conducted a study to explore the role of OPN and THP in canine renal oxalosis. Ten dogs were carefully examined prior to the study. Six dogs were assigned to the treatment group and were injected intravenously with 0.5 M potassium oxalate (KOx). The other four dogs were assigned to a control group and were injected intravenously with 0.9% NaCl three times a day (tid) for 7 consecutive days. Then kidneys were harvested for pathological, immunohistochemical examination and OPN and THP mRNA expression levels were quantified by quantitative real-time PCR.


Calcium oxalate crystals deposition was observed in both renal cortex and medulla. Immunohistochemistry examination revealed increased tissue expression of OPN in the renal tissue while THP was significantly decreased. OPN mRNA expression level significantly increased in treated dogs compared to that in the controls, while THP mRNA level significantly decreased.


Together, these results suggest that THP and OPN are both involved in the pathogenesis and response to oxalate exposure.

Canine; Osteopontin; Tamm-Horsfall; mRNA; IHC