Relationship between susceptibility to apoptosis and Fas expression in peripheral blood T cells from uremic patients: a possible mechanism for lymphopenia in chronic renal failure

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Oct 4;215(1):98-105. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.2438.


Chronic renal failure (CRF) is often complicated by lymphopenia, which may be partly responsible for immune deficiency. We hypothesized that lymphopenia in CRF might result from apoptosis of T cells in vivo. To elucidate the involvement of Fas antigen which mediates apoptosis, we analyzed Fas expression on peripheral blood T cells in uremic non-dialyzed (non-HD) patients and hemodialysis (HD) patients. T cells from both uremic groups expressed Fas with higher intensity than control T cells. When two uremic groups were compared, Fas intensity on T cells was significantly higher in non-HD patients than in patients on HD. Moreover, uremic T cells were shown to undergo accelerated apoptosis when cultured in vitro, in correlation with Fas expression. Our results suggest that T cells in CRF may undergo apoptosis by the Fas system and that hemodialysis treatment has beneficial effects in the light of the inhibition of T cell apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology*
  • Lymphopenia / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / blood
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • fas Receptor / blood*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • fas Receptor