Cytokine profiles during clinical high-flux dialysis: No evidence for cytokine generation by circulating monocytes

Muriel P.C. Grooteman*, Menso J. Nubé, Mohamed R. Daha, Jacques Van Limbeek, Marcel Van Deuren, Margreet Schoorl, Pierre M. Bet, Arend Jan Van Houte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Secretion of cytokines by monocytes has been implicated in the pathogenesis of dialysis-related morbidity. Cytokine generation is presumed to take place in two steps: induction of mRNA transcription for cytokines by C5a and direct membrane contact, followed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- induced translation of mRNA (priming/second signal theory, Kidney Int 37: 85- 93, 1990). However, the in vitro conditions on which this theory was based differed markedly from clinical dialysis. To test this postulate for routine hemodialysis, 13 patients were studied cross-over with high-flux cuprammonium, (CU), cellulose triacetate (CTA), and polysulfon dialyzers, using standard bicarbonate dialysate, as well as CTA with filtered dialysate (fCTA). Besides leukocytes, C3a, C5a, and limulus amebocyte lysate reactivity, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL- 1RA, soluble TNF receptors, and IL-1β mRNA were assessed. Only during dialysis with CU did C5a increase significantly (561 to 8185 ng/ml, p < 0.001). Endotoxin content of standard bicarbonate was higher than filtered dialysate (median, 24.3 and <5 pg/ml respectively, P = 0.002), whereas limulus amebocyte lysate reactivity was not detected in the blood, except in the case of CU. TNF-α levels were elevated before, and remained stable during, dialysis, independent of the modality used. IL-1β, IL-6, and mRNA coding for IL-1β could not be demonstrated. IL-1RA and soluble TNF receptors (p55/p75) were markedly elevated compared with normal control subjects, but showed no differences between fCTA and CTA. To summarize, no evidence was found for production and release of cytokines by monocytes during clinical high-flux bicarbonate hemodialysis, neither with complement-activating membranes nor with unfiltered dialysate. Therefore, this study sheds some doubt on the relevance of the 'priming/second signal' theory for clinical practice. The data presented suggest that reluctance to prescribe the use of high-flux dialyzers, as advocated in many reports, may not be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1745-1754
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

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