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1. The urinary excretion of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), a known inhibitor of the growth and aggregation of crystals of calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate, increases after ingestion of orthophosphate (Pi). This effect may contribute to the apparent ability of oral phosphate to reduce the formation of urinary stones in man. This paper is a study of the mechanism by which Pi increases PPi excretion, investigated by renal clearance techniques in man and renal arterial infusion in dogs. PPi in plasma was measured by an isotope-dilution method after ion-exchange chromatography. 2. The mean renal clearance of endogenous PPi in ten men was 7-9 +/- 1-7 (SE) ml/min, and the mean ratio of PPi clearance to creatinine clearance was 0-08 +/- 0-02 (SE). The oral ingestion of Pi increased the urinary excretion and renal clearance of PPi about threefold, without significantly changing its concentration in plasma. 3. In dogs, the infusion of Pi into one renal artery caused a greater increase in urinary PPi from the infused than from the non-infused kidney, an effect that could be accentuated by simultaneous intravenous infusion of PPi. In dogs, only 1-3% of an injected or infused dose of PPi appeared intact in the urine, regardless of whether it was infused into the systemic or renal circulation. 4. These results suggest that Pi has a direct affect on the kidney to increase the excretion of PPi. It is possible that Pi either interferes with tubular reabsorption of PPi, perhaps by competing for a common tubular transport mechanism, or that Pi diminishes the intrarenal hydrolysis of PPi.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin sci mol med

Publication Date





435 - 443


Animals, Diphosphates, Dogs, Humans, Infusions, Parenteral, Injections, Intravenous, Kidney, Phosphates, Renal Artery