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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 Jul;24(7):2212-8. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfp001. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

The plasma retinol levels as pro-oxidant/oxidant agents in haemodialysis patients.

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Center of Healthy Sciences, Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Clinical and Toxicology Analysis, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.



Oxidative stress is a process involved in haemodialysis-related pathologies such as cerebrovascular diseases. Retinol is the major circulating form of vitamin A and it is elevated in haemodialysis (HD) patients. It is known that these patients present anaemia that is not totally responsive to erythropoietin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of plasma retinol levels on oxidative stress biomarkers, especially on delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase.


Plasma retinol and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were quantified by HPLC-UV/VIS; blood activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALA-D) were analysed by spectrophotometric methods, in HD patients (n = 29) and healthy subjects (n = 20).


The MDA and retinol levels, SOD and CAT activities were significantly increased in HD patients. ALA-D activity was significantly decreased. Retinol levels were correlated with MDA levels (r = 0.68), CAT (r = 0.39), SOD (r = 0.40) and ALA-D (r = -0.55). A partial correlation between retinol levels with ALA-D (r = 0.43), SOD (r = 0.30) and CAT (r = 0.36) activity was found, utilizing MDA levels as co-variable.


Higher retinol levels may be associated with the increase of SOD and CAT activities, but this increase was not sufficient to prevent the lipid peroxidation and ALA-D thiolic group oxidation. In this manner, our results could suggest that high retinol levels contribute as an additional factor to the oxidative tissue damage.

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