Oxalobacter formigenes colonization and oxalate dynamics in a mouse model

Academic Article


  • Animal and human studies have provided compelling evidence that colonization of the intestine with Oxalobacter formigenes reduces urinary oxalate excretion and lowers the risk of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. The mechanism providing protection appears to be related to the unique ability of O. formigenes to rely on oxalate as a major source of carbon and energy for growth. However, much is not known about the factors that influence colonization and host-bacterium interactions. We have colonized mice with O. formigenes OxCC13 and systematically investigated the impacts of diets with different levels of calcium and oxalate on O. formigenes intestinal densities and urinary and intestinal oxalate levels. Measurement of intestinal oxalate levels in mice colonized or not colonized with O. formigenes demonstrated the highly efficient degradation of soluble oxalate by O. formigenes relative to other microbiota. The ratio of calcium to oxalate in diets was important in determining colonization densities and conditions where urinary oxalate and fecal oxalate excretion were modified, and the results were consistent with those from studies we have performed with colonized and noncolonized humans. The use of low-oxalate purified diets showed that 80% of animals retained O. formigenes colonization after a 1-week dietary oxalate deprivation. Animals not colonized with O. formigenes excreted two times more oxalate in feces than they had ingested. This nondietary source of oxalate may play an important role in the survival of O. formigenes during periods of dietary oxalate deprivation. These studies suggest that the mouse will be a useful model to further characterize interactions between O. formigenes and the host and factors that impact colonization.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 7856911
  • Author List

  • Li X; Ellis ML; Knight J
  • Start Page

  • 5048
  • End Page

  • 5054
  • Volume

  • 81
  • Issue

  • 15