Renal citrate metabolism and urinary citrate excretion in the infant rat

Joel Z. Melnick, Patricia A. Preisig, Robert J. Alpern, Michel Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background. Although hypercalciuria has the same prevalence in children as adults, children rarely develop renal stones. This may be explained by a greater urinary citrate excretion in infants compared with adults. The present study examines the renal excretion of citrate and renal cortical citrate metabolism in infant and adult rats. Methods. Adult male and newly weaned infant rats were acclimated to metabolic cages and fed synthetic diets. Urine was collected after two days, and renal cortical citrate metabolism was assayed. Results. Infant rats had a lower plasma [HCO3-] and higher plasma [K+] and had a fourfold higher urinary citrate:creatinine ratio and a twofold higher concentration of citrate in their urine compared with adult rats. This higher urinary citrate excretion was not due to a difference in renal proximal tubular Na/citrate cotransporter activity, nor renal cortical citrate synthase or ATP citrate lyase activities in infants as compared with adults. However, infant rat kidneys had significantly lower mitochondrial aconitase (m-aconitase) activity. Renal cortical citrate concentrations were comparable in infant and adult rats. Manipulation of plasma [K+] to adult levels did not affect the higher urinary citrate excretion in infant rats. Conclusions. Urinary citrate excretion in infant rats is greater than in adults but does not parallel tissue [citrate]. Thus, this higher urinary citrate is likely due to maturational differences in the proximal tubule, other than Na/citrate co-transport, that directly affect citrate transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-897
Number of pages7
JournalKidney international
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • ATP citrate lyase
  • Aconitase
  • Hypercalciuria
  • Potassium
  • Renal development
  • Urolithiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Renal citrate metabolism and urinary citrate excretion in the infant rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this