Calcium metabolism in blood and peritoneal lymphocytes from continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients

Sharon L. Lewis, Susan G. Kutvirt, Larry C. Seamer, Clifford J. Holmes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Objective: Cellular immune function in peritoneal dialysis patients has been shown to be depressed, but the mechanism of this immunosuppression has not been ascertained. Because calcium is an important mediator of lymphocyte activation, this study was designed to investigate if there was an alteration of calcium metabolism in the lymphocytes of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients. Design: Sixteen CAPD patients were studied at the initiation of CAPD and after two months of treatment. Twenty-three normal controls were also enrolled in the study. Cytoplasmic calcium changes were investigated in response to the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in peripheral blood and peritoneal lymphocytes, using the intracellular calcium probe indo-1 and flow cytometry. Baseline cytoplasmic calcium levels and changes in cytoplasmic calcium in response to PHA were assessed at the initiation of CAPD and after two months of therapy. Results: Peripheral lymphocytes of patients and controls had similar calcium baseline levels, but the peritoneal lymphocytes had baseline cytoplasmic calcium levels averaging 81% higher than the corresponding calcium levels of the patients' peripheral blood lymphocytes. As compared to peripheral lymphocytes, the response to PHA stimulation was significantly less in the peritoneal lymphocytes, increasing an average of only 46.8% above baseline. Peripheral blood lymphocytes of the patients responded by an average increase of 78.9% over baseline. Control cells increased an average of 66.3% over baseline. Follow-up studies done two months after the initiation of CAPD indicated there were no significant changes (as compared to month 0) that occurred in baseline or stimulated intracellular calcium concentrations. Conclusions: While the peripheral lymphocytes of CAPD patients respond adequately to PHA, the high baseline calcium levels of the peritoneal lymphocytes suggest that these cells may be in a state of chronic activation and may respond minimally to an antigenic challenge.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)287-294
    Number of pages8
    JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - May 1 1997



    • Calcium
    • Peripheral blood lymphocytes
    • Peritoneal dialysis
    • Peritoneal lymphocytes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nephrology

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