You are prohibited from using or uploading content you accessed through this website into external applications, bots, software, or websites, including those using artificial intelligence technologies and infrastructure, including deep learning, machine learning and large language models and generative AI.
No AccessJournal of UrologyInvestigative Urology1 Apr 2008

Reduction of Oxidative Stress in Cultured Renal Tubular Cells and Preventive Effects on Renal Stone Formation by the Bioflavonoid Quercetin

View All Author Information


We investigated the effects of quercetin on renal tubular cell injury induced by oxalate and the inhibitory effects of quercetin on urinary crystal deposit formation in an animal model.

Materials and Methods:

MDCK cells (American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia) were incubated with different concentrations of oxalate with and without quercetin. MTT (Sigma®) assays for cell viability, malondialdehyde and catalase activity were measured to investigate the antioxidant effect of quercetin. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups. Group 1 was fed standard rat chow. Groups 2 and 3 rats were fed standard chow supplemented with 3% sodium oxalate for 4 weeks. For the first 8 days in 4 weeks each rat in groups 2 and 3 also received gentamicin intramuscularly. Additionally, group 3 rats were administered quercetin for 4 weeks. Rats were sacrificed after 4 weeks, after which 24-hour urine collections and kidney removal were performed. In the renal tissue malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity was measured. Bisected kidneys were examined under microscopy to determine the number of crystals.


The viability of MDCK cells significantly decreased and malondialdehyde production increased in the presence of oxalate. However, co-exposure to quercetin inhibited the decrease in cell viability and inhibited the lipid peroxidation production induced by oxalate. In the animal study malondialdehyde production in group 3 significantly decreased compared to that in group 2. Catalase and superoxide dismutase activity was increased in group 3 compared to that in group 2. The number of crystals in kidneys in group 3 was decreased significantly compared to that in group 2.


Quercetin has an inhibitory effect on urinary crystal deposit formation.


  • 1 : Oxalate ion and calcium oxalate crystal interactions with renal epithelial cells. In: Kidney Stones: Medical and Surgical Management. Edited by . Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven1996: 129. chapt 43. Google Scholar
  • 2 : Mechanisms of stone formation—an overview. Scan Electron Microsc1984; 3: 1419. Google Scholar
  • 3 : Madin-Darby canine kidney cells are injured by exposure to oxalate and to calcium oxalate crystals. Urol Res1994; 22: 197. Google Scholar
  • 4 : A new model of nephrolithiasis involving tubular dysfunction/injury. J Urol1991; 146: 1384. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 5 : The effect of oxalate on the growth of renal tubular epithelial cells. J Endourol2002; 16: 261. Google Scholar
  • 6 : Calcium oxalate stone disease: role of lipid peroxidation and antioxidants. Urol Res2002; 30: 35. Google Scholar
  • 7 : Oxalate and calcium oxalate mediated free radical toxicity in renal epithelial cells: effect of antioxidants. Urol Res2003; 31: 3. Google Scholar
  • 8 : Vitamin E therapy prevents hyperoxaluria-induced calcium oxalate crystal deposition in the kidney by improving renal tissue antioxidant status. BJU Int2005; 96: 117. Google Scholar
  • 9 : Preventive effects of green tea on renal stone formation and the role of oxidative stress in nephrolithiasis. J Urol2005; 173: 271. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 10 : Effects of green tea on urinary stone formation: an in vivo and in vitro study. J Endourol2006; 20: 356. Google Scholar
  • 11 : Supplementation of vitamin E and selenium prevents hyperoxaluria in experimental urolithic rats. J Nutr Biochem2003; 14: 306. Google Scholar
  • 12 : Review of the biology of quercetin and related bioflavonoids. Food Chem Toxicol1995; 33: 1061. Google Scholar
  • 13 : Flavonoids are scavengers of superoxide anions. Biochem Pharmacol1988; 37: 837. Google Scholar
  • 14 : Protective effect of epicatechin, epicatechin gallate and quercetin on lipid peroxidation in phospolipid bilayers. Arch Biochem Biophys1994; 308: 278. Google Scholar
  • 15 : Reduction of cisplatin toxicity in cultured renal tubular cells by the bioflavonoid quercetin. Arch Toxicol1998; 72: 536. Google Scholar
  • 16 : The effect of quercetin, a bioflavonoid on ischemia/reperfusion induced renal injury in rats. Arch Med Res2004; 35: 484. Google Scholar
  • 17 : Lipoperoxides in plasma as measured by liquid-chromatographic separation of malondialdehyde-thiobarbituric acid adduct. Clin Chem1987; 33: 214. Google Scholar
  • 18 : Uber den niederschlag, welchen picrinsaure in normalen harn erzeugt und uber eine neue reaction des keratinins. Hoppe Zeylersz Physiol Chem1886; 10: 391. Google Scholar
  • 19 : Beta galactosidase, beta-glucosidase and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase in human kidney. Clin Chim Acta1969; 24: 189. Google Scholar
  • 20 : Purification and properties of oxalic acid oxidase. Arch Biochem Biophys1966; 116: 516. Google Scholar
  • 21 : A method for enzymatic determination of citrate in serum and urine. Scand J Clin Lab Invest1976; 36: 513. Google Scholar
  • 22 : Modification of the o-cresolphthalein complexone method for determining calcium. Clin Chem1979; 25: 1519. Google Scholar
  • 23 : Free radical scavenging and cytoprotective activities of phenolic antioxidants. Mol Nutr Food Res2006; 50: 996. Google Scholar
  • 24 : Quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant, prevents and protects against ethanol-induced oxidative stress in mouse liver. Biol Pharm Bull2003; 26: 1398. Google Scholar
  • 25 : Quercetin, an anti-oxidant bioflavonoid, attenuates diabetic nephropathy in rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol2004; 31: 244. Google Scholar
  • 26 : Anti- and prooxidant effects of chronic quercetin administration in rats. Eur J Pharmacol2003; 482: 281. Google Scholar