Epithelial oxalate transport is fundamental to the role occupied by the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in oxalate homeostasis. The absorption of dietary oxalate, together with its secretion into the intestine, and degradation by the gut microbiota, can all influence the excretion of this nonfunctional terminal metabolite in the urine. Knowledge of the transport mechanisms is relevant to understanding the pathophysiology of hyperoxaluria, a risk factor in kidney stone formation, for which the intestine also offers a potential means of treatment. The following discussion presents an expansive review of intestinal oxalate transport. We begin with an overview of the fate of oxalate, focusing on the sources, rates, and locations of absorption and secretion along the GI tract. We then consider the mechanisms and pathways of transport across the epithelial barrier, discussing the transcellular, and paracellular components. There is an emphasis on the membrane-bound anion transporters, in particular, those belonging to the large multifunctional Slc26 gene family, many of which are expressed throughout the GI tract, and we summarize what is currently known about their participation in oxalate transport. In the final section, we examine the physiological stimuli proposed to be involved in regulating some of these pathways, encompassing intestinal adaptations in response to chronic kidney disease, metabolic acid-base disorders, obesity, and following gastric bypass surgery. There is also an update on research into the probiotic, Oxalobacter formigenes, and the basis of its unique interaction with the gut epithelium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)