10 December 2008
During hemodialysis on cuprophane membranes, platelets are activated and release in plasma α-granule-specific substances such as PF4 or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). PDGF is the main source of mitogenic activity found in serum. In vitro, it induces the proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMC) which is known to be involved in the development of atherosclerotic lesions. Atherosclerosis is one of the major complications of uremic patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. To investigate whether this complication could be due to the dialysis itself, we measured the mitogenic activity in plasma of 10 patients undergoing hemodialysis on cuprophane membrane, using human arterial SMC in culture. Mitogenic activity in plasma increased about 3-fold during dialysis. These results may provide an argument in favor of a contribution of platelet activation and release of mitogenic activity to atherosclerosis in patients dialysed with cuprophane membranes.