Hydroxycitric acid prevents hyperoxaluric-induced nephrolithiasis and oxidative stress via activation of the Nrf2/Keap1 signaling pathway


Nephrolithiasis is a common and frequently-occurring disease in the urinary system with high recurrence. The present study aimed to explore the protective effect and underlying mechanism of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in hyperoxaluria-induced nephrolithiasis in vitro and in vivo. Crystal deposition and pathophysiological injury in rat models of glyoxylate-induced nephrolithiasis were examined using H&E staining. Cell models of nephrolithiasis were established by oxalate-treated renal tubular epithelial cells. The levels of oxidative stress indexes were determined by ELISA kits. Cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro was evaluated using a cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and Ki-67 cell proliferation detection kit. Cell apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry and TUNEL staining. The protein levels were examined by western blotting. Our results showed that HCA administration significantly reduced crystal deposition and kidney injury induced by glyoxylate. HCA also alleviated oxidative stress via upregulating the antioxidant enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) and reducing the malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Moreover, HCA treatment promoted cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells exposed to hyperoxaluria. Of note, Nrf2 activator dimethyl fumarate (DMF) exerted the same beneficial effects as HCA in nephrolithiasis. Mechanistically, HCA prevented crystal deposition and oxidative stress induced by hyperoxaluria through targeting the Nrf2/Keap1 antioxidant defense pathway, while knockdown of Nrf2 significantly abrogated these effects. Taken together, HCA exhibited antioxidation and anti-apoptosis activities in nephrolithiasis induced by hyperoxaluria via activating Nrf2/Keap1 pathway, suggesting that it may be an effective therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of nephrolithiasis.</p

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