Effect of oral N-acetylcysteine treatment on plasma inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in peritoneal dialysis patients: A placebo-controlled study

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Peritoneal Dialysis International
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Nascimento M.M.
Suliman M.E.
Silva M.
Chinaglia T.
Marchioro J.
Hayashi S.Y.
Riella M.C.
Lindholm B.
Anderstam B.
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Background: Inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) are cardiovascular risk factors in patients with chronic kidney disease. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a thiol-containing antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce the number of cardiovascular events in hemodialysis patients. Methods: The current study aimed to determine the effect of oral NAC (2 × 600 mg/daily) on plasma levels of inflammatory and OS markers in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. We performed a placebo-controlled study over 8 weeks in 30 patients (40% males, age 52 ± 13 years) on regular PD. Before the study was started, the patients were divided into 2 groups of 15 patients matched for age and gender. 22 patients completed the study (12 on NAC, 10 on placebo). Proinflammatory cytokines [high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and pentraxin 3] and markers of OS (pentosidine, advanced oxidation protein products, homocysteine, glutathione, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and free sulfhydryls) were measured before and after treatment with NAC. Results: Treatment with NAC for 8 weeks increased mean baseline plasma NAC levels from 2.6 to 24.8 μμmol/L (p = 0.007). This intervention, which caused no side effects, significantly diminished IL-6 levels, from 9.4 (4.5 - 31) to 7.6 (4.9 - 13.5) pg/mL (p = 0.006), whereas no such changes were observed in the placebo group. NAC treatment did not significantly affect the other inflammatory and OS markers. Conclusion: Short-term oral NAC treatment resulted in reduction of circulating IL-6, suggesting that such treatment could be a useful strategy in blunting the inflammatory response in PD patients. © 2010 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis.
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