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Kidney Int. 2000 Mar;57(3):1182-9.

Dialysis solution containing hyaluronan: effect on peritoneal permeability and inflammation in rats.

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiology, Poznan Medical School, Poland.



Hyaluronan (HA), a high molecular weight mucopolysaccharide found in interstitial tissues and fluid, is lost from the peritoneal cavity during peritoneal dialysis. In order to determine the role of HA in peritoneal function, we investigated the effects of exogenous HA on peritoneal permeability, markers of intraperitoneal inflammation, and peritoneal morphology in rats exposed to peritoneal dialysis solution for four weeks.


Wistar rats were infused intraperitoneally, twice daily, with conventional, hypertonic dialysis solution (Dianeal 3.86%; control) or Dianeal solution containing 10 mg/dL of high molecular weight HA. Peritoneal permeabilities and clearances of solutes and protein were determined using a modified peritoneal permeability test (peritoneal equilibration test) at the beginning and the end of the treatment. Peritoneal volume and ultrafiltration were determined using a macromolecular marker and by gravimetric methods. Peritoneal inflammation was determined by cell counts and differential and by the measurement of cytokine concentrations in the dialysate effluent. Peritoneal thickness and HA content were determined in liver and mesentery biopsies taken at the end of the experiment.


After four weeks of exposure to the dialysis solution, transperitoneal protein equilibration was significantly lower in HA-treated rats compared with rats treated with Dianeal alone (46% lower for albumin, P < 0.003; 33% lower for total protein, P < 0.001). The total drained volume after a four hour dwell was 29% higher in the HA group compared with the control (P < 0.001), yielding a positive net ultrafiltration in the HA group versus a negative net ultrafiltration in controls. Peritoneal clearances of urea and creatinine tended to be elevated in HA-treated rats, while clearances of total protein and albumin tended to be lower. Dialysate effluent from rats exposed to HA contained a lower percentage of neutrophils (8.8 +/- 22.8 +/- 9.5%, P < 0.01) and lower levels of the cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (11.2 +/- 14.7 vs. 42.3 +/- 35.3 pg/mL, P < 0.05) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 MCP-1 (72.0 +/- 86.5 vs. 402.4 +/- 258.3 pg/mL, P < 0.02), compared with rats treated with Dianeal alone. The thickness of the peritoneal interstitium showed a similar increase in both groups, but mesenteric tissue from the HA group contained more HA (48%, P < 0.01) than tissue from control animals.


The addition of HA to peritoneal dialysis solution decreases protein permeability, increases ultrafiltration, and decreases cytokine levels and the proportion of peritoneal neutrophils in dialysate from rats exposed to hypertonic dialysis solution. These results suggest that exogenous HA may help to protect the peritoneal membrane during exposure to dialysis solutions. These benefits, if sustained in the clinical setting, could lead to improvements in the therapy of peritoneal dialysis.

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