The role of the TGF/Smad signaling pathway in peritoneal fibrosis induced by peritoneal dialysis solutions

Qiang Yao, Krzysztof Pawlaczyk, Ernesto Rodríguez Ayala, Arkadiusz Styszynski, Andrzej Breborowicz, Olof Heimburger, Jia Qi Qian, Peter Stenvinkel, Bengt Lindholm, Jonas Axelsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions contribute to peritoneal membrane damage. We investigated how conventional and biocompatible PD solutions with different glucose concentrations affect morphological and functional signs of peritoneal fibrosis as well as the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in a chronic PD rat model. Methods: Non-uremic male Wistar rats (n = 28) were dialyzed thrice daily for 28 days with 20 ml of a conventional solution (Dianeal® 1.36%, D1, or 3.86%, D3) or a biocompatible solution (Physioneal® 1.36%, P1, or 3.86%, P3). A peritoneal equilibration test was performed. Six rats without dialysis served as controls. Results: The use of conventional solutions, particularly D3, resulted in expansion of the submesothelial compact zone, loss of mesothelial cell layer integrity, hypercellularity, accumulation of collagen I, increased vessel numbers and increased TGF-β1/Smad expression, but this did not significantly change fluid and solute peritoneal transport characteristics. In comparison with D1 and D3, the use of P1 and P3 was associated with less TGF-β1/Smad expression and less expansion of the submesothelial cell layer. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that biocompatible solutions with less glucose may decrease the rate of peritoneal fibrosis. The TGF-β1/Smad pathway is stimulated by PD solutions, representing a plausible pathophysiological mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e71-e78
JournalNephron - Experimental Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Collagen
  • Dialysis solutions
  • Fibrosis
  • Peritoneal dialysis rat model
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Nephrology


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