12 September 2012
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients treated with renal replacement therapy (RRT) have premature immunologically aged T cells which may underlie uremia-associated immune dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate whether uremia was able to induce premature ageing of the T cell compartment. For this purpose, we examined the degree of premature immunological T cell ageing by examining the T cell differentiation status, thymic output via T cell receptor excision circle (TREC) content and proliferative history via relative telomere length in ESRD patients not on RRT.
Compared to healthy controls, these patients already had a lower TREC content and an increased T cell differentiation accompanied by shorter telomeres. RRT was able to enhance CD8 + T cell differentiation and to reduce CD8 + T cell telomere length in young dialysis patients. An increased differentiation status of memory CD4 + T cells was also noted in young dialysis patients.