Effects of Zinc Supplementation on Plasma Copper/Zinc Ratios, Oxidative Stress, and Immunological Status in Hemodialysis Patients
BACKGROUND The peritoneal immune compartment is a microenvironment with a particular T-cell repertoire and susceptible to local inflammation. To clarify the role of T lymphocytes in peritoneal immunity, the changes in T-cell subpopulations in peritoneal dialysis effluents (PDEs), and their influence on the response to the treatment of peritonitis and on its prognosis were studied in patients undergoing long-term, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). METHODS A cohort of 36 patients treated with CAPD and who had histories of peritonitis were divided into a group with rapid and a group with delayed response to antibiotics, and were followed for 3 years. CD4/CD8 T-cell ratios, T-cell cytokine mRNA expression patterns and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) concentrations were examined in PDE during bouts of peritonitis. The change in 4 h D/P creatinine during the peritoneal equilibration test (PET) between year 0 and year 3 was expressed as deltaD/P creatinine. RESULTS The serial changes in T-cell subsets in PDE during peritonitis showed two patterns: (i) pattern 1, manifest as a progressive increase in the CD4/CD8 ratio, and associated with a rapid response to treatment; and (ii) pattern 2, manifest as a progressive decrease in the CD4/CD8 ratio, and associated with a delayed response to treatment. The major T-cell phenotypes in PDE during peritonitis were Th1-CD4(+) and Tc2-CD8(+), determined by cloning techniques, RT-PCR and double immunofluorescence staining. TGF-beta1 in the effluent was undetectable in pattern 1 after 7-8 days, but remained detectable at 2 weeks in pattern 2. Pattern 2 patients had a significantly greater decrease (deltaD/P creatinine: -0.198+/-0.086) in solute transport than pattern 1 patients (deltaD/P creatinine: -0.036+/-0.077, P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that a progressive decrease of the CD4/CD8 ratio in PDE correlates with a persistent expression of TGF-beta1, and plays a pathogenetic role in the evolution of peritonitis, PET deterioration and peritoneal fibrosis. Therefore, patterns of CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio in PDE may predict clinical outcomes of peritonitis in CAPD patients.