Urological Research

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 189–195 | Cite as

Prevention of renal crystal deposition by an extract of Ammi visnaga L. and its constituents khellin and visnagin in hyperoxaluric rats

  • P. Vanachayangkul
  • N. Chow
  • S. R. Khan
  • Veronika Butterweck
Original Paper


In Egypt, teas prepared from the fruits of Ammi visnaga L. (syn. “Khella”) are traditionally used by patients with urolithiasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether oral administration of an aqueous extract prepared from the fruits of A. visnaga as well as two major constituents khellin and visnagin could prevent crystal deposition in stone-forming rats. Hyperoxaluria was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by giving 0.75% ethylene glycol and 1% ammonium chloride via the drinking water. The Khella extract (KE; 125, 250 or 500 mg/kg) was orally administered for 14 days. The histopathological examination of the kidneys revealed that KE significantly reduced the incidence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal deposition. In addition, KE significantly increased urinary excretion of citrate along with a decrease of oxalate excretion. Comparable to the extract, khellin and visnagin significantly reduced the incidence of CaOx deposition in the kidneys. However, both compounds did not affect urinary citrate or oxalate excretion indicating a mechanism of action that differs from that of the extract. For KE, a reasonably good correlation was observed between the incidence of crystal deposition, the increase in citrate excretion and urine pH suggesting a mechanisms that may interfere with citrate reabsorption. In conclusion, our data suggest that KE and its compounds, khellin and visnagin, may be beneficial in the management of kidney stone disease caused by hyperoxaluria but that it is likely that different mechanism of action are involved in mediating these effects.


Ammi visnaga Apiaceae Nephrolithiasis Hyperoxaluria Calcium oxalate Khellin Visnagin 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Vanachayangkul
    • 1
  • N. Chow
    • 1
  • S. R. Khan
    • 2
  • Veronika Butterweck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, College of PharmacyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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