Architecture-Guided Fluid Flow Directs Renal Biomineralization.

Ho SP, Chen L, Allen FI, Hsi RS, Shimotake AR, Wiener SV, Kang M, Minor AM, Stoller ML
Sci Rep. 2018 8 (1): 14157

PMID: 30242165 · PMCID: PMC6155006 · DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-30717-x

Nephrocalcinosis often begins on a calcium phosphate deposit, at the tip of the medullo-papillary complex (MPC) known as Randall's plaque (RP). Contextualizing proximally observed biominerals within the MPC has led us to postulate a mechanobiological switch that can trigger interstitial biomineralization at the MPC tip, remote from the intratubular biominerals. Micro X-ray computed tomography scans of human MPCs correlated with transmission and scanning electron micrographs, and X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry demonstrated novel findings about anatomically-specific biominerals. An abundance of proximal intratubular biominerals were associated with emergence of distal interstitial RP. The fundamental architecture of the MPC and mineral densities at the proximal and distal locations of the MPC differed markedly. A predominance of plate-like minerals or radially oriented plate-like crystallites within spheroidal minerals in the proximal intratubular locations, and core-shell type crystallites within spheroidal minerals in distal interstitial locations were observed. Based on the MPC anatomic location of structure-specific biominerals, a biological switch within the mineral-free zone occurring between the proximal and distal locations is postulated. The "on" and "off" switch is dependent on changes in the pressure differential resulting from changes in tubule diameters; the "Venturi effect" changes the "circumferential strain" and culminates in interstitial crystal deposits in the distal tubule wall in response to proximal tubular obstruction. These distal interstitial mineralizations can emerge into the collecting system of the kidney linking nephrocalcinosis with nephrolithiasis.

MeSH Terms (7)

Biomineralization Calcium Phosphates Humans Kidney Medulla Minerals Nephrocalcinosis X-Ray Microtomography

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