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Kidney dialysis: taming the inflammatory response

Frequent kidney dialysis is essential for the approximately 350,000 end-stage (ESRD) patients in the United States. But it can also cause , leading to complications such as and anemia, and patients who rely on the therapy have a five-year survival rate of only 35 percent. Such inflammation can be triggered when the , part of the body’s innate immune system, is inadvertently activated by modern polymer-based dialysis blood filters. New work by Penn researchers has found an effective way to avoid these problems by temporarily suppressing complement during dialysis. Their work appears online in Immunobiology ahead of print.

[This image shows the structure of a compstatin molecule.]
This image shows the structure of a compstatin molecule.
Credit: , PhD, , University of Pennsylvania


The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI068730, AI030040, AI097805) and the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (602699).

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine