01 July 2002
End-stage renal failure (ESRD) induces a clinical state of immunodeficiency with a higher incidence of infections and a higher mortality due to infectious complications compared with the normal population. Using a newly developed immunofluorescent staining of intracellular cytokines for flow cytometric analysis, we studied Th subsets in 22 healthy control subjects, 28 patients with compensated chronic renal failure (CRF), 25 patients on hemodialysis (HD), and 24 patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Our results demonstrate that the percentage of both interferon-γ-positive cells and interleukin-4-positive cells increased in compensated CRF patients compared with those in healthy subjects. Moreover, a significantly higher percentage of CD4-positive cells is characterized by a Th1-type cytokine production pattern in HD patients and by a Th2-type cytokine secretion pattern in CAPD patients. These results suggest that the altered Th1/Th2 balance may be associated with the pathogenesis of ESRD.