An Enlarged Profile of Uremic Solutes

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 28;10(8):e0135657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135657. eCollection 2015.


Better knowledge of the uremic solutes that accumulate when the kidneys fail could lead to improved renal replacement therapy. This study employed the largest widely available metabolomic platform to identify such solutes. Plasma and plasma ultrafiltrate from 6 maintenance hemodialysis (HD) patients and 6 normal controls were first compared using a platform combining gas and liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. Further studies compared plasma from 6 HD patients who had undergone total colectomy and 9 with intact colons. We identified 120 solutes as uremic including 48 that had not been previously reported to accumulate in renal failure. Combination of the 48 newly identified solutes with those identified in previous reports yielded an extended list of more than 270 uremic solutes. Among the solutes identified as uremic in the current study, 9 were shown to be colon-derived, including 6 not previously identified as such. Literature search revealed that many uremic phenyl and indole solutes, including most of those shown to be colon-derived, come from plant foods. Some of these compounds can be absorbed directly from plant foods and others are produced by colon microbial metabolism of plant polyphenols that escape digestion in the small intestine. A limitation of the metabolomic method was that it underestimated the elevation in concentration of uremic solutes which were measured using more quantitative assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indoles / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyphenols / blood
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency / blood*
  • Uremia / blood*


  • Indoles
  • Polyphenols
  • indole