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Comparative Study
, 49 (5), 664-73

Local Activation of Interleukin 6 Signaling Is Associated With Arteriovenous Fistula Stenosis in Hemodialysis Patients

Comparative Study

Local Activation of Interleukin 6 Signaling Is Associated With Arteriovenous Fistula Stenosis in Hemodialysis Patients

Daniela Marrone et al. Am J Kidney Dis.


Background: Vascular access failure is the main cause of morbidity in hemodialysis patients. Stenosis of the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is similar histologically to atherosclerosis. Recent studies showed that interleukin 6 (IL-6) has a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by binding 2 specific receptors, gp80 and gp130. When activated, gp130 interacts with a tyrosine kinase, Janus kinase (JAK2), which then activates a transcription factor, signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT3), directly turning on several proinflammatory genes. The aim of this study is to evaluate gp130 expression and JAK2/STAT3 activation within stenotic AVFs.

Methods: 44 patients undergoing surgery for AVF creation were enrolled; 10 of them had AVF failure with histologically proven AVF stenosis (wall-lumen ratio > 1). A venous fragment of the AVFs was collected during creation and revision of the vascular access. gp130 and gp80 expression, as well as JAK/STAT activation, were evaluated by means of confocal microscopy. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells were isolated at the time of AVF creation and revision.

Results: gp130 protein expression, barely detectable in native AVFs, was strikingly increased within the venous branch of stenotic AVFs. The signaling subunit of the IL-6 receptor broadly colocalized with gp80, the IL-6-binding subunit. gp130-expressing cells were mainly CD34(+), suggesting that this receptor is expressed primarily by neovasculature endothelial cells. At the same time, a significant increase in phosphorylation of JAK2/STAT3 was observed in endothelial cells of stenotic AVFs. Interestingly, peripheral-blood mononuclear cells isolated at the time of AVF failure presented strikingly greater IL-6 expression compared with dialysis age-matched controls.

Conclusion: IL-6 receptor activation may have a role in the pathogenesis of AVF failure in hemodialysis patients and may represent a potential therapeutic target in this setting.

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