The effects of peritoneal dialysis fluid and its components on the differentiation of white blood cells into fibrocytes
Kidneys filter out toxins which accumulate in the blood. In order to replace the function of the kidneys in patients with kidney damage, fluid is injected into the abdominal cavity, and after 4-8 hours, during which the fluid has collected waste products, the fluid is removed. This process is called peritoneal dialysis or PD. Though effective in detoxification, PD can come with a grave side effect: the formation of scar tissue in the abdomen. To form this scar tissue, white blood cells leave the blood and develop into cells called fibrocytes. A blood protein called serum amyloid P (SAP) inhibits the development of fibrocytes. I investigated how the dialysis fluid and its separate salt components affect the development of fibrocytes. I found that dialysis fluid and its component salts sodium chloride and sodium lactate all caused significant increases in human fibrocyte development in tissue culture. I then tested the effect of PD fluid and its components on the ability of SAP to inhibit fibrocyte development. I found that whole PD fluid and sodium lactate decreased the ability of SAP to inhibit the development of fibrocytes. These results show that components of PD fluid enhance the development of fibrocytes, which could provide an explanation for the development of scar tissue during dialysis treatment.
Starke, Hannah (2012). The effects of peritoneal dialysis fluid and its components on the differentiation of white blood cells into fibrocytes. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from