Tokyo: Japanese scientists have found that an experimental obesity drug can potentially prevent the formation of kidney stones in mice, a finding that paves the way to develop medications to prevent the condition in at-risk individuals.
The findings showed that mice who were administered 1mg/kg of the beta3- agonist CL316243 for 12 days, showed a 17 percent decrease in the number of kidney stones than those who were not given the drug.
"This is an experimental work for now. But I believe that this may open the way to the development of the new drugs which can stop the development of kidney stones in at-risk people," said lead researcher Teruaki Sugino from the Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Japan.
"So far we have only tested this on mice, but in mice it seems to work.
"We were able to analyse the biochemical differences between the control and experimental group, and discovered that the beta3-agonist reduced the expression of adipocytokine molecules, which are associated with inflammation," Sugino added.
Beta3-agonists are known to cause white fat cells -- found in excess in overweight and obese persons -- into beige fat cells, which burn extra calories. This is why the molecules are also being considered for anti-obesity uses.
These beige cells consume free fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the kidneys leading to kidney stones.
This means that beta3-agonists have the potential to prevent not only obesity but also kidney stones, the researchers explained.
The findings were presented at the European Association of Urology Conference in Copenhagen.
Currently, potassium-sodium citrate drugs are used to restrict the development of kidney stones, but some people cannot use these drugs because they have to limit their potassium or sodium intake.
Since the drug was administered to mice, it cannot yet be directly applied to humans, the researchers noted.