African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2281

Full Length Research Paper

Differential analysis of human kidney stone samples using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Zhiquan Zhou1, Yongzhong Ouyang2, Xiangtai Zeng3, Tingting Zhang1, Bin Jia2, Xinglei Zhang2, Huanwen Chen2 and Jianhua Ding 2*
1Institute of Information Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai, 264209, P. R. China. 2Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Mass Spectrometry and Instrumentation, Biology and Material Science, College of Chemistry, East China Institute of Technology, Nanchang, 330013, P. R. China. 3Department of Surgery, 2nd Hospital of Gannan Medical University, Xinfeng, 341600, P. R. China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 October 2011
  •  Published: 08 November 2011


Kidney stones may be caused by many factors, including ingestion of melamine for a relatively long time. The diagnosis of melamine-induced kidney stones and the understanding of how the melamine is involved in the formation of kidney stones are of practical importance. To establish a sensitive method based on widely used electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) for diagnosis of melamine-induced kidney stones and to probe the differential formation of melamine-induced kidney stones at molecular levels. Human kidney stones were collected in hospital from 6 groups of patients at different ages. ESI-MS was employed as the main technique with the principal component analysis for data processing. Using principal component analysis (PCA) of the ESI-MS fingerprints, a set of 21 melamine-induced kidneystone samples and 21 uric acid derived kidney stone samples were successfully differentiated from the other groups, rendering ESI-MS method a potential platform for differential analysis of the human kidney stones of various causes at molecular levels. The experimental results also indicate that in addition to the melamine, the chemical compounds enwrapped in the melamine-induced kidney stone samples are different from other kidney stone samples. These findings suggest that ESI-MS is a useful tool for diagnosis of melamine-induced kidney stone samples and the melamine-induced kidney stone could be formed by different mechanisms.


Key words: Toxicity of melamine, chemical profiling, uric acid, electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), kidney stone, melamine, principal component analysis.