Effect of acetate-free biofiltration and bicarbonate hemodialysis on neutrophil activation

Marta Todeschini, Daniela Macconi, Nuria García Fernández, Marina Ghilardi, Agostina Anabaya, Elena Binda, Marina Morigi, Dario Cattaneo, Elena Perticucci, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Marina Noris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Activation of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and monocytes has been described during hemodialysis (HD), which results in the release of reactive oxygen species and cytokines. Acetate-free biofiltration (AFB) has been shown to cause less monocyte activation and cytokine release than bicarbonate HD (BHD). No data are available to date on the effect of AFB on PMN activation. Methods: We studied ex vivo superoxide anion release by PMNs isolated from nine patients treated in random order with AFB or BHD (three sessions each). Plasma interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels and the nitric oxide (NO) synthetic pathway also were evaluated. A polyacrylonitrile (AN69; Hospal, Bologna, Italy) dialyzer was used for both treatments. Fourteen healthy volunteers were used as controls. Blood samples were drawn predialysis and 5 and 15 minutes after starting dialysis to obtain plasma and PMNs. Results: Neither ex vivo superoxide anion release nor blood PMN count was affected by AFB. Conversely, a peak in superoxide anion production associated with a decrease in PMN count was observed at 5 minutes during BHD. Results of superoxide anion production by control PMNs exposed in vitro to AFB or bicarbonate dialysis bath or Hank's balanced salt solution supplemented with bicarbonate or acetate indicated that BHD-induced PMN activation could be attributed to the amount of bicarbonate present in the dialysis bath. IL-1β plasma levels did not change during dialysis with AFB and were numerically higher at 5 and 15 minutes with respect to predialysis values during BHD. Uremic plasma obtained during either AFB or BHD induced greater NO synthesis by human umbilical vein endothelial cells than control plasma. Conclusion: AFB, unlike BHD, does not cause PMN and monocyte activation, which could have a positive impact on dialysis-associated cardiovascular disease of dialyzed patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-793
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Acetate-free biofiltration (AFB)
  • Bicarbonate hemodialysis (BHD)
  • Interleukin-1β (IL-1β)
  • Neutrophils
  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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