, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 231–241 | Cite as

Total flavonoids of Desmodium styracifolium attenuates the formation of hydroxy-l-proline-induced calcium oxalate urolithiasis in rats

  • Jianfu Zhou
  • Jing Jin
  • Xiong Li
  • Zhongxiang Zhao
  • Lei Zhang
  • Qian Wang
  • Jing Li
  • Qiuhong Zhang
  • Songtao Xiang
Original Paper


Desmosium styracifolium (D. styracifolium), which is considered as a Chinese herbal medicine, has been reported to treat the kidney stone diseases. However, the potential phytochemically active components and the underlying mechanisms associated with its efficacy in targeting urolithiasis remain to be elucidated. This study aims to investigate the anti-urolithiatic effect of total flavonoids of D. styracifolium (TFDS) on calcium oxalate (CaOx) renal stones in Sprague–Dawley rats. Animal models of CaOx urolithiasis were established in male Sprague–Dawley rats by adding 5% w/w hydroxy-l-proline (HLP) in regular rat chow. The TFDS orally at 100, 400 mg/kg, respectively, were administered along with HLP for 28 days. At the end of 28 days of treatment, urine and serum samples were collected for crystalluria determination and various biochemical analysis. Kidney tissues were isolated and processed for antioxidant parameters measurement and histopathological examinations. HLP-induced hyperoxaluria alone reliably caused CaOx nephrolithiasis in rats. We showed that TFDS significantly reduced crystalluria and CaOx crystal deposits in the kidney sections as compared to untreated HLP group. Also, TFDS was observed to decrease urinary oxalate excretion, alleviate the pro-acidosis condition, improve the impaired renal functions and renal epithelial cell injury. Moreover, TFDS protected against the oxidative stress changes via reducing MDA content, increasing CAT and GSH-Px activities in renal homogenate, as well as attenuating the expression of MCP-1, OPN and TGF-β proteins. These results indicated that TFDS had beneficial effect on inhibition of CaOx formation in the rat kidney probably through a combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, urine alkalinizing activities, and lowering the concentration of urinary stone-forming constituents. Thus, TFDS might have clinical implications in preventing oxidative renal cell injury and, ultimately, kidney stone formation. The data provide a rationale for the medicinal use of TFDS in nephrolithiasis and identify this agent as a potential source of new antiurolithic drugs.


Total flavonoids of Desmodium styracifolium Hydroxy-l-proline Calcium oxalate Antioxidant 



We are grateful to Dr. Wenqi Wu (Guangdong Key Laboratory of Urology, Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, China) for the kind assistance in this study. This work was supported in part by the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (Grant Nos. 2011B061300077, 2008B030301363), and the Key Project of Traditional Chinese Medicine Bureau of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 20173009), “The Construction of High-level University” Public Projects from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine (Grant No. 2017B022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential financial competing interests.

Supplementary material

240_2017_985_MOESM1_ESM.doc (386 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 386 kb)
240_2017_985_MOESM2_ESM.doc (57 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianfu Zhou
    • 1
  • Jing Jin
    • 2
  • Xiong Li
    • 3
  • Zhongxiang Zhao
    • 4
  • Lei Zhang
    • 4
  • Qian Wang
    • 1
  • Jing Li
    • 1
  • Qiuhong Zhang
    • 1
  • Songtao Xiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urology, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese MedicineGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesSunYat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese MedicineGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Chinese MedicineGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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