Citrate anion improves chronic dialysis efficacy, reduces systemic inflammation and prevents Chemerin-mediated microvascular injury

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 23;9(1):10622. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47040-8.


Systemic inflammation and uremic toxins (UT) determine the increased cardiovascular mortality observed in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients. Among UT, the adipokine Chemerin induces vascular dysfunction by targeting both endothelial and vascular smooth muscular cells (EC and VSMC). As Citrate anion modulates oxidative metabolism, systemic inflammation and vascular function, we evaluated whether citrate-buffered dialysis improves HD efficiency, inflammatory parameters and chemerin-mediated microvascular injury. 45 patients were treated in sequence with acetate, citrate and, again, acetate-buffered dialysis solution (3 months per interval). At study admission and after each treatment switch, we evaluated dialysis efficacy and circulating levels of chemerin and different inflammatory biomarkers. In vitro, we stimulated EC and VSMC with patients' plasma and we investigated the role of chemerin as UT. Citrate dialysis increased HD efficacy and reduced plasma levels of CRP, fibrinogen, IL6 and chemerin. In vitro, patients' plasma induced EC and VSMC dysfunction. These effects were reduced by citrate-buffered solutions and paralleled by the decrease of chemerin levels. Consistently, chemerin receptor knockdown reduced EC and VSMC dysfunction. In conclusion, Switching from acetate to citrate improved dialysis efficacy and inflammatory parameters; in vitro, chemerin-induced EC and VSMC injury were decreased by using citrate as dialysis buffer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Citric Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / injuries
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Hemodialysis Solutions
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Microvessels / injuries*
  • Microvessels / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / injuries
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Chemokines
  • Hemodialysis Solutions
  • Interleukin-6
  • RARRES2 protein, human
  • Citric Acid
  • Fibrinogen
  • C-Reactive Protein