, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 157–166 | Cite as

Protective effect of dietary polyphenol caffeic acid on ethylene glycol-induced kidney stones in rats

  • Fauzia Yasir
  • Atia-tul- Wahab
  • M. Iqbal Choudhary
Original Paper


Dietary polyphenol caffeic acid (1) has been reported for various pharmacological activities. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of caffeic acid (1) on ethylene glycol-induced renal stones in rats. For the study, male Wistar rats were divided into seven groups; normal, pathological, and standard drug controls, and preventive and curative groups. Normal control group received drinking water for 8 weeks. Pathological, standard drug, preventive, and curative groups received 0.75% ethylene glycol in drinking water for the induction of calcium oxalate stone formation, along with the regular diet. Standard drug group received Urocit-K by gavage from day 1, while preventive and curative groups received caffeic acid (1) by gavage at doses of 20 and 40 mg/kg on day 1 and day 14, respectively. At the end of the experiment, urine analysis and kidney histopathology were performed. Real-time PCR was performed to evaluate the renal expression of the most important genes involved in urolithiasis, i.e., osteopontin, Tamm-Horsfall, prothrombin fragment 1, and bikunin genes. The results indicated that in both the preventive and curative groups, treatment of rats with caffeic acid (1) significantly regulated the altered biochemical parameters, along with the remarkable reduction of calcium oxalate deposits in the kidneys, as compared to the pathological group. Treatment with compound 1 also resulted in down-regulation of the osteopontin gene, and up-regulation of the prothrombin fragment 1, Tamm-Horsfall, and bikunin genes. These results suggest that caffeic acid (1) can be further investigated for the prevention, and treatment of kidney stones.


Caffeic acid Kidney stone Urolithiasis Calcium oxalate Osteopontin 



MIC and AW acknowledge the enabling role of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), Pakistan, through a financial support under, a research Grant Project 5-9/PAS/2172 entitled, “Studies on natural inhibitors of kidney stone formation.”

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in this study have been approved by the institutional ethics committee and were performed in accordance with the standard ethical guidelines for the care and use of animals.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug ResearchInternational Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of KarachiKarachiPakistan
  2. 2.H. E. J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological SciencesUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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