Renal calcium phosphate and oxalate deposition in prolonged vitamin B6 deficiency: Studies on a rat model of urolithiasis

L. Di Tommaso, B. Tolomelli, R. Mezzini, M. Marchetti, G. Cenacchi, M. P. Foschini, A. M. Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the effect on kidney oxalate-salt deposition of a prolonged diet which induced vitamin B6 deficiency in adult rats, as there are reports of the pathogenic involvement of vitamin B6 deficiency in the formation of renal calcium oxalate calculi. Materials and methods: The study comprised 24 6-month-old male albino Wistar rats; 12 were fed with a purified vitamin B6-deficient diet and the others provided with the same diet but supplemented with 6 mg/kg of vitamin B6. After 12 weeks, all rats were killed, and their kidneys fixed in formalin and routinely processed to paraffin for morphological examination; some fragments were fixed in glutaraldehyde and prepared for ultrastructural examination. From each rat consecutive sections of both kidneys were cut and stained with haematoxylin and eosin, periodic-acid Schiff, Sirius red and the Von Kossa method for calcium. Sections were examined in polarized light and by electron microscopy. Results: The histopathological and ultrastructural features of the kidney of vitamin B6-deficient rats were those of tubular-interstitial nephritis, characterized by tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis and chronic inflammatory infiltration. Oxalate and phosphate crystals were present in the papillary and parenchymal connective tissue. Ultrastructural features confirmed severe tubular epithelial lesions and the presence of an interstitial and intraepithelial inflammatory infiltrate; there was mild interstitial fibrosis. None of these features were apparent in the kidney of control rats. Conclusions: Histopathological and ultrastructural data indicate that a prolonged vitamin B6-deficient diet may contribute to the formation and deposition of calcium phosphate and oxalate crystals, which lead to severe damage of the renal parenchyma. This phenomenon may occur not only in growing rats, which have more active protein metabolism and consequently higher vitamin B6 requirements, but also in adult rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
JournalBJU International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Calcium
  • Kidney
  • Nephritis
  • Oxalate
  • Phosphate
  • Rat
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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