Journal Article

Alternative activation of macrophages in human peritoneum: implications for peritoneal fibrosis

Teresa Bellón, Virginia Martínez, Baltasar Lucendo, Gloria del Peso, María José Castro, Luiz S. Aroeira, Aranzazu Rodríguez-Sanz, Marta Ossorio, Rafael Sánchez-Villanueva, Rafael Selgas and María Auxiliadora Bajo

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 26, issue 9, pages 2995-3005
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Alternative activation of macrophages in human peritoneum: implications for peritoneal fibrosis

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Background. Depending on the cytokine microenvironment, macrophages (Mφ) can adopt a proinflammatory (M1) or a profibrotic (M2) phenotype characterized by the expression of cell surface proteins such as CD206 and CD163 and soluble factors such as CC chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18). A key role for Mφ in fibrosis has been observed in diverse organ settings. We studied the Mφ population in a human model of peritoneal dialysis in which continuous stress due to dialysis fluids and recurrent peritonitis represent a risk for peritoneal membrane dysfunction reflected as ultrafiltration failure (UFF) and peritoneal fibrosis.

Methods. We used flow cytometry and quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction to analyse the phenotype of peritoneal effluent Mφ and tested their ability to stimulate the proliferation of human fibroblasts. Mφ from non-infected patients were compared with those from patients with active peritonitis. Cytokine production was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in spent dialysates and cell culture supernatants.

Results. CD206+ and CD163+ M2 were found within peritoneal effluents by flow cytometry analysis, with increased frequencies of CD163+ cells during peritonitis (P = 0.003). TGFB1, MMP9 and CCL18 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in peritoneal macrophages (pMφ) were similar to those found in M2 cells differentiated in vitro. The ability of pMφ to stimulate fibroblast proliferation correlated with CCL18 mRNA levels (r = 0.924, P = 0.016). CCL18 production by pMφ was confirmed by immunostaining of cytospin samples and ELISA. Moreover, CCL18 effluent concentrations correlated with decreased peritoneal function, which was evaluated as dialysate to plasma ratio of creatinine (r = 0.724, P < 0.0001), and were significantly higher in patients with UFF (P = 0.0025) and in those who later developed sclerosing peritonitis (P = 0.024).

Conclusions. M2 may participate in human peritoneal fibrosis through the stimulation of fibroblast cell growth and CCL18 production as high concentrations of CCL18 are associated with functional deficiency and fibrosis of the peritoneal membrane.

Keywords: CCL18; macrophages; M2; peritoneal dialysis; peritoneum

Journal Article.  6435 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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