Mechanisms of uremic inhibition of phagocyte reactive species production: characterization of the role of p-cresol

Kidney Int. 1995 Feb;47(2):510-7. doi: 10.1038/ki.1995.64.


It is generally recognized that the uremic syndrome results in a depression of immune function, but the uremic solutes responsible remain largely unidentified. In this study, the effect of 18 known uremic retention solutes, including urea and creatinine, on hexose monophosphate shunt (HMS)-dependent glucose-1-C14 utilization (G1C-U), chemiluminescence production (CL-P) and flow cytometric parameters (FCP) of respiratory burst and phagocytosis were evaluated in granulocytes and/or monocytes. Among the compounds studied, only p-cresol depressed whole blood respiratory burst reactivity (G1C-U, CL-P) dose dependently at concentrations currently encountered in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (P < 0.05 from 5 micrograms/ml on). The effect of p-cresol was enhanced by increasing incubation times from 10 to 120 minutes. HMS activity of isolated packed erythrocytes remained unaffected. FCP of respiratory burst activity (Bursttest, expressed as log fluorescence units, LFU) revealed a marked depression in the presence of p-cresol (from 700 +/- 167 to 291 +/- 128 LFU for granulocytes, from 278 +/- 102 to 146 +/- 52 LFU for monocytes, P < 0.01), whereas particle ingestion (Phagotest) remained unaffected. Cell-free myeloperoxidase activity was also markedly depressed in the presence of p-cresol. Polarity based HPLC-elution of a standard solution containing all the solutes studied, using a gradient from 100% formic acid to 100% methanol during 60 minutes, revealed elution of p-cresol after 46.6 minutes, pointing to its relative hydrophobicity. Conjugation of p-cresol to p-cresylsulfate anihilated the depressive effect of p-cresol on granulocyte function, and at the same time caused a shift in HPLC-elution pattern to a less lipophilic range.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cresols / metabolism*
  • Cresols / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Phagocytes / drug effects
  • Phagocytes / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Uremia / metabolism*


  • Cresols
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • 4-cresol
  • 2-cresol