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Iron increases the profibrotic properties of the senescent peritoneal mesothelial cells.

BACKGROUND: Treatment of anemia in peritoneal dialysis patients often requires intravenous iron supplementation. Iron diffuses into the peritoneal cavity and is injurious to the peritoneum. We studied how intermittent exposure to iron changes the properties of the senescent peritoneal mesothelial cells (MC).

METHODS: Replicative senescence was induced in MC in control medium (Con) or in control medium with intermittent exposure to iron isomaltoside 15 µg/dL (Con-IIS). After 10 passages properties of MC from both groups were compared to MC not exposed to replicative senescence.

RESULTS: In senescent MC population doubling time was elongated, intracellular generation of free radicals and staining for β-galactosidase was stronger than in MC not exposed to replicative senescence. All these effects were stronger in MC intermittently exposed to IIS. In these cells intracellular iron content was also higher. Also expression of genes p21 and p53 was stronger in MC intermittently treated with IIS. In senescent cells higher release and expression of IL6 and TGFβ1 was observed and that effect was stronger in MC treated with iron. Senescent MC had reduced fibrinolytic activity, what may predispose to the peritoneal fibrosis. Synthesis of collagen was higher in senescent cells, more in MC treated with iron.

CONCLUSION: MC aging results in change of their genotype and phenotype which lead to their profibrotic effect. Exposure to iron enhances these changes.

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