Neutrophil degranulation and severely impaired extracellular trap formation at the basis of susceptibility to infections of hemodialysis patients

Salti Talal, Khoury Mona, Awad Karem, Lerenthal Yaniv, Harari Misgav Reut, Shemesh Ariel, Avraham Kelbert Moran, Eitam Harel, Salvatore Campisi-Pinto, Abu Amna Mahmoud, Colodner Raul, Tovbin David, Bar Sela Gil, Cohen Idan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic kidney disease patients are at increased risk of mortality with cardiovascular diseases and infections as the two leading causes of death for end-stage kidney disease treated with hemodialysis (HD). Mortality from bacterial infections in HD patients is estimated to be 100–1000 times higher than in the healthy population. Methods: We comprehensively characterized highly pure circulating neutrophils from HD and healthy donors. Results: Protein levels and transcriptome of HD patients’ neutrophils indicated massive neutrophil degranulation with a dramatic reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production during an oxidative burst and defective oxidative cellular signaling. Moreover, HD neutrophils exhibit severely impaired ability to generate extracellular NET formation (NETosis) in NADPH oxidase-dependent or independent pathways, reflecting their loss of capacity to kill extracellular bacteria. Ectopic hydrogen peroxidase (H2O2) or recombinant human SOD-1 (rSOD-1) partly restores and improves the extent of HD dysfunctional neutrophil NET formation. Conclusions: Our report is one of the first singular examples of severe and chronic impairment of NET formation leading to substantial clinical susceptibility to bacteremia that most likely results from the metabolic and environmental milieu typical to HD patients and not by common human genetic deficiencies. In this manner, aberrant gene expression and differential exocytosis of distinct granule populations could reflect the chronic defect in neutrophil functionality and their diminished ability to induce NETosis. Therefore, our findings suggest that targeting NETosis in HD patients may reduce infections, minimize their severity, and decrease the mortality rate from infections in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number364
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Hemodialysis
  • Infections
  • Neutrophil degranulation
  • Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETosis)
  • Neutrophils


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