Hong Kong Med J 2013;19(Suppl 8):S23-5
Effects of melamine on urine crystallisation kinetics and cell responses
CF Ng, KLE Hon, MDI Gohel
Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. Melamine co-precipitates from human urine under acidic conditions and promotes precipitation of other lithogenic ions.
2. In vitro studies confirmed that citrate and bicarbonate therapy may help to inhibit melamine crystallisation.
3. Chinese herbal medicines had only acute efficacy (within 24 hours) after which they were not effective in lowering melamine crystallisation.
4. Cell culture studies demonstrated that the effect of melamine on cells differed from that of calcium oxalate crystals. Melamine crystals and aggregates caused physical damage to cells resulting in an inflammatory response.
5. Global gene expression microarray scanning revealed up-regulation of cytokines and down-regulation of calcium channels suggesting a cell protective mechanism.