Background: Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a severe complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD). Previously, it has been shown that infiltrating CD4-positive T cells and M2 macrophages are associated with several fibrotic conditions. Therefore, the characteristics of the peritoneal cell infiltrate in EPS may be of interest to understand EPS pathogenesis. In this study, we aim to elucidate the composition of the peritoneal cell infiltrate in EPS patients and relate the findings to clinical outcome. Study Design, Setting, and Participants: We studied peritoneal membrane biopsies of 23 EPS patients and compared them to biopsies of 15 PD patients without EPS. The cellular infiltrate was characterized by immunohistochemistry to detect T cells(CD3-positive), CD4-positive (CD4+) and CD8-positive T cell subsets, B cells(CD20-positive), granulocytes(CD15-positive), macrophages(CD68-positive), M1(CD80-positive), and M2(CD163-positive) macrophages. Tissues were analysed using digital image analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to investigate the survival in the different staining groups. Results: The cellular infiltrate in EPS biopsies was dominated by mononuclear cells. For both CD3 and CD68, the median percentage of area stained was higher in biopsies of EPS as opposed to non-EPS patients (p<0.001). EPS biopsies showed a higher percentage of area stained for CD4 (1.29%(0.61-3.20)) compared to CD8 (0.71%(0.46-1.01), p = 0.04), while in the non-EPS group these cells were almost equally represented (respectively 0.28%(0.05-0.83) versus 0.22%(0.17-0.43), p = 0.97). The percentage of area stained for both CD80 and CD163 was higher in EPS than in non-EPS biopsies (p<0.001), with CD163+cells being the most abundant phenotype. Virtually no CD20-positive and CD15-positive cells were present in biopsies of a subgroup of EPS patients. No relation was found between the composition of the mononuclear cell infiltrate and clinical outcome. Conclusions: A characteristic mononuclear cell infiltrate consisting of CD4+ and CD163+ cells dominates the peritoneum of EPS patients. These findings suggest a role for both CD4+ T cells and M2 macrophages in the pathogenesis of EPS.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Habib, S.M, Abrahams, A.C, Korte, M.R, Zietse, R, de Vogel, L, Boer, W.H, … Betjes, M.G.H. (2015). CD4-positive T cells and M2 macrophages dominate the peritoneal infiltrate of patients with encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis. PLoS ONE, 10(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120174