Uremic levels of oxalic acid suppress replication and migration of human endothelial cells.
Patients with chronic renal failure who undergo hemodialysis experience accelerated atherosclerosis and premature death. Since the end-metabolite, oxalic acid, accumulates in plasma in proportion to the severity of renal failure, we studied whether sodium oxalate (0 to 300 microM) is an endothelial toxin and, therefore, might enhance atherogenesis. Exposure to uremic levels of oxalate (greater than 30 microM) for 9 to 28 days depressed endothelial cell replication by 33% to 84% (mean +/- SD, 54% +/- 15.7%, n = 17 experiments, p = 0.002). In contrast, replication of fibroblasts exposed to 200 microM oxalate for 45 days was not inhibited. The inhibitory effect of oxalate on endothelial cell replication was both dose- and time-dependent (both p less than 0.0001) and was first detected 3 to 7 days after the initial exposure to oxalate. Further, the inhibitory effect was fully reversible upon removal of oxalate, but only if exposure was limited to 5 days or less. Sodium salts of other carboxylic acids (citric, succinic, glyoxylic, and malonic; 200 microM) as well as HCl (200 microM) did not suppress endothelial cell replication. Oxalate also inhibited endothelial cell migration but had no effect on basal, thrombin-induced, or arachidonate-induced prostacyclin production by endothelial cells. Exposure of endothelial cells to sodium oxalate (200 microM) for as little as 24 hours-a time period sufficient to induce delayed, transient inhibition of replication not detectable until approximately 1 week after exposure-inhibited incorporation of 3H-leucine into protein by 40% (p = 0.009). We conclude that sodium oxalate acts as a uremic toxin, inhibiting endothelial cell replication and migration, functions which may be important for constitutive inhibition of atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association