The intestine exerts a considerable influence over urinary oxalate in two ways, through the absorption of dietary oxalate and by serving as an adaptive extra-renal pathway for elimination of this waste metabolite. Knowledge of the mechanisms responsible for oxalate absorption and secretion by the intestine therefore have significant implications for understanding the etiology of hyperoxaluria, as well as offering potential targets for future treatment strategies for calcium oxalate kidney stone disease. In this review, we present the recent developments and advances in this area over the past 10 years, and put to the test some of the new ideas that have emerged during this time, using human and mouse models. A key focus for our discussion are the membrane-bound anion exchangers, belonging to the SLC26 gene family, some of which have been shown to participate in transcellular oxalate absorption and secretion. This has offered the opportunity to not only examine the roles of these specific transporters, revealing their importance to oxalate homeostasis, but to also probe the relative contributions made by the active transcellular and passive paracellular components of oxalate transport across the intestine. We also discuss some of the various physiological stimuli and signaling pathways which have been suggested to participate in the adaptation and regulation of intestinal oxalate transport. Finally, we offer an update on research into Oxalobacter formigenes, alongside recent investigations of other oxalate-degrading gut bacteria, in both laboratory animals and humans.
- Chloride/bicarbonate exchange
- Ussing chamber
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