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Transplant Proc. 2012 Dec;44(10):2932-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.04.041. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Comparison of erythrocyte membrane fatty acid contents in renal transplant recipients and dialysis patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Bong-Seng Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea.



Alterations of erythrocyte membrane fatty acid (FA) composition play important roles in cellular function because they change the membrane microenvironment, including transmembrane receptors. The erythrocyte membrane oleic acid content is higher among patients with acute coronary syndrome and also in dialysis patients. However, available data are limited concerning erythrocyte membrane FA content in kidney transplant recipients (KTP). We sought to test the hypothesis that erythrocyte membrane FA content among KTP were different from those in dialysis patients.


In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 35 hemodialysis, 33 peritoneal dialysis 49 KTP, and 33 normal control subjects (CTL). Their erythrocyte membrane FA content were measured by gas chromatography.


The mean ages of the enrolled dialysis patients, KTP, and CTL were 56.4 ± 10.1, 48.9 ± 10.4, and 49.5 ± 8.3 years, respectively. Mean kidney transplant duration was 89.8 ± 64.8 months and mean dialysis duration, 49.0 ± 32.6 months. The intakes of vegetable lipid and vegetable protein including total calories were significantly increased among KTP versus dialysis patients. Total cholesterol (P < .001) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL; P < .001) levels were significantly higher and C-reactive protein was significantly lower among KTP compared with dialysis patients. The erythrocyte membrane content of palmitoleic acid (P < .001) was significantly higher but oleic acid (P < .001) significantly lower in KTP compared with dialysis patients. The erythrocyte membrane contents of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were significantly higher, and linoleic acid and the omega-6 FA to omega-3 FA ratio (P < .001) significantly lower in KTP compared with dialysis patients. The erythrocyte membrane content of oleic acid was independently associated with monounsaturated fatty acid (beta = 0.771, P < .001), eicosapentaeonic acid (beta = -0.244, P = .010), and HDL (beta = -0.139, P = .049) in KTP.


FA contents of erythrocyte membranes were significantly different in KTP compared with dialysis patients. These differences may have been associated with improved dietary intake and immunosuppression after kidney transplantation.

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