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Hemodialysis exacerbates proteolytic imbalance and pro-fibrotic platelet dysfunction


Multi-organ fibrosis among end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients cannot be explained by uremia alone. Despite mitigation of thrombosis during hemodialysis (HD), subsequent platelet dysfunction and tissue dysregulation are less understood. We comprehensively profiled plasma and platelets from ESRD patients before and after HD to examine HD-modulation of platelets beyond thrombotic activation. Basal plasma levels of proteolytic regulators and fibrotic factors were elevated in ESRD patients compared to healthy controls, with isoform-specific changes during HD. Platelet lysate (PL) RNA transcripts for growth and coagulative factors were elevated post-HD, with upregulation correlated to HD vintage. Platelet secretome correlations to plasma factors reveal acutely induced pro-fibrotic platelet phenotypes in ESRD patients during HD characterized by preferentially enhanced proteolytic enzyme translation and secretion, platelet contribution to inflammatory response, and increasing platelet dysfunction with blood flow rate (BFR) and Vintage. Compensatory mechanisms of increased platelet growth factor synthesis with acute plasma matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and tissue inhibitor of MMPs (TIMP) increases show short-term mode-switching between dialysis sessions leading to long-term pro-fibrotic bias. Chronic pro-fibrotic adaptation of platelet synthesis were observed through changes in differential secretory kinetics of heterogenous granule subtypes. We conclude that chronic and acute platelet responses to HD contribute to a pro-fibrotic milieu in ESRD.

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