Markers of inflammation, proteolysis, and apoptosis in ESRD. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hemodialysis (HD) is associated with protein catabolism and augmented apoptosis. Although the effect of metabolic acidosis and inflammatory cytokines on activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKAD) is well known, the effect of HD on these pathways remains unexplored.Twelve patients with end-stage renal disease were studied before and during HD. Eight controls also were studied. Plasma levels of complement components and cytokines, interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured. Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of caspase-3, a mediator of apoptosis; ubiquitin, a marker of proteolysis; and BCKAD-E2, an enzyme regulating branched-chain amino acid oxidation, were estimated in skeletal muscle biopsy specimens by means of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Annexin-V expression was quantified by DNA array. Before the study, participants were placed on a 1.2-g/kg/d protein diet, and metabolic acidosis was corrected.During HD, plasma IL-6 levels increased from 7.54 +/- 2.24 to 27.86 +/- 4.94 pg/dL (P < 0.001). Complement component, IL-1, and TNF-alpha levels did not change significantly during HD. mRNA levels of caspase-3 (0.50 +/- 0.01 versus 0.81 +/- 0.04), annexin-V (0.94 +/- 0.06 versus 1.48 +/- 0.05; P < 0.001), ubiquitin (1.10 +/- 0.03 versus 1.44 +/- 0.03), and BCKAD-E2 (0.47 +/- 0.01 versus 0.81 +/- 0.04) increased in muscle during HD compared with pre-HD values (P < 0.001). mRNA levels of ubiquitin (0.62 +/- 0.03) and BCKAD-E2 (0.58 +/- 0.02) were greater in controls than pre-HD values (P < 0.05). There were significant positive correlations between plasma IL-6 levels and expression of caspase-3, ubiquitin, and BCKAD-E2 genes.HD causes activation of cytokines, which may mediate the increase in gene expression of caspase-3, ubiquitin, and BCKAD-E2 in skeletal muscles.

publication date

  • December 2003