Journal Article

The melatonin receptor 1A (<i>MTNR1A</i>) gene is associated with recurrent and idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis

Teresa Esposito, Domenico Rendina, Andrea Aloia, Daniela Formicola, Sara Magliocca, Gianpaolo De Filippo, Riccardo Muscariello, Giuseppe Mossetti, Fernando Gianfrancesco and Pasquale Strazzullo

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 27, issue 1, pages 210-218
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
The melatonin receptor 1A (MTNR1A) gene is associated with recurrent and idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis

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Experimental evidence indicate that melatonin regulates some renal tubular functions via specific melatonin receptors (MTNRs) located in the kidney of several avian and mammalian species, including humans. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the melatonin receptor 1A gene (MTNR1A) might influence the risk of calcium nephrolithiasis.


We performed a systematic analysis of the MTNR1A gene in 246 recurrent calcium stone formers (136 men, 110 women; mean age 40.2 ± 12.0 years; body mass index 25.8 ± 4.5 kg/m2) and 269 healthy controls comparable for age and gender without a history of nephrolithiasis.


Two SNPs in Intron 1 of MTNR1A were significantly associated with calcium nephrolithiasis: rs13140012 (P = 0.0004) and rs6553010 (P = 0.009). The haplotypes resulting from the two SNPs were also differently distributed between stone formers and controls, the haplotype A-T being more represented among stone formers (P = 0.00001) and the haplotype T-C being more common in healthy controls (P = 0.00001). Preliminary functional studies showed that the SNP rs13140012 could modify the binding sites for transcription factors.


The results of this case–control study indicate a strong association between allelic variants of MTNR1A and recurrent calcium nephrolithiasis.

Keywords: association analysis; calcium nephrolithiasis; melatonin; melatonin receptor 1A; single nucleotide polymorphisms

Journal Article.  4759 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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