Dialysis-related transcriptomic profiling: the pivotal role of heparanase

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2014 Jan;239(1):52-64. doi: 10.1177/1535370213506678. Epub 2013 Nov 4.


Peritoneal (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) represent the leading renal replacement therapies in advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Although absolutely necessary to ensure patient survival, these treatments are responsible for considerable biological alterations primarily due to the un-physiological contact of blood and tissues with bioincompatible devices or plastificants. Although extensively described, this complex dialysis-related deregulated bio-molecular machinery is still not completely known. Therefore, to select a set of genes deregulated in patients on dialysis treatment and to assess the possible differences between dialysis modalities, we measured the expression level of 132 genes involved in proteoglycans (PGs) biosynthesis/metabolism by microarray in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), biological elements involved in the inflammatory/immune response, from 5 healthy subjects (HS), 9 CKD, 10 PD, and 17 HD patients. We focused on PGs biosynthesis/metabolism pathways because of their involvement in the onset and development of several CKD-related clinical complications. Statistical analysis/bioinformatics identified 70 genes discriminating HD/PD patients from HS/CKD subjects (P < 0.009, FDR < 5%). Twenty-five genes were up-regulated (e.g. HPSE, VCAN, and VEGFA) and 45 down-regulated (e.g. IDS and HEXA) in PD/HD compared to HS/CKD. Gene expression and plasma activity of Heparanase (HPSE), one of the top selected up-regulated genes in PD/HD, validated microarray results. In addition, for the second part of the study, HPSE plasmatic activities were first assessed in an independent testing-group (7 HS, 10 CKD, 17 PD, and 11 HD), and then correlated with high-sensitive C reactive protein (HS-CRP) measurements. HPSE activity was higher in PD and HD versus CKD/HS and it correlated with HS-CRP levels (R (2 )= 0.37, P = 0.007). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated PBMCs showed a significant up-regulation of HPSE mRNA level (P = 0.04). Our results revealed that dialysis treatments induce change in the transcriptomic pattern of biosynthetic proteoglycans in PBMCs with an up-regulation of HPSE. Our selected genes could be useful in the future as potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Peritoneal dialysis; hemodialysis; heparanase; microarray; microinflammation; proteoglycans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Glucuronidase / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis*
  • Proteoglycans / biosynthesis*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Biomarkers
  • Proteoglycans
  • heparanase
  • Glucuronidase