Organic Matrix Derived from Host–Microbe Interplay Contributes to Pathological Renal Biomineralization

Bai, Yushi, et al. “Organic Matrix Derived from Host–Microbe Interplay Contributes to Pathological Renal Biomineralization.” ACS Nanoscience Au 3.4 (2023): 335-346.


Matrix stones are a rare form of kidney stones. They feature a high percentage of hydrogel-like organic matter, and their formation is closely associated with urinary tract infections. Herein, comprehensive materials and biochemical approaches were taken to map the organic–inorganic interface and gather insights into the host–microbe interplay in pathological renal biomineralization. Surgically extracted soft and slimy matrix stones were examined using micro-X-ray computed tomography and various microspectroscopy techniques. Higher-mineral-density laminae were positive for calcium-bound Alizarin red. Lower-mineral-density laminae revealed periodic acid-Schiff-positive organic filamentous networks of varied thickness. These organic filamentous networks, which featured a high polysaccharide content, were enriched with zinc, carbon, and sulfur elements. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) along with immune response-related proteins, including calprotectin, myeloperoxidase, CD63, and CD86, also were identified in the filamentous networks. Expressions of NETs and upregulation of polysaccharide-rich mucin secretion are proposed as a part of the host immune defense to “trap” pathogens. These host−microbe derived organic matrices can facilitate heterogeneous nucleation and precipitation of inorganic particulates, resulting in macroscale aggregates known as “matrix stones”. These insights into the plausible aggregation of constituents through host–microbe interplay underscore the unique “double-edged sword” effect of the host immune response to pathogens and the resulting renal biominerals.