Condition may be a consequence as well as cause of enhanced oxidative stress, according to paper in BMC Genomics.

Researchers have found alterations in respiration gene expression in the white blood cells of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Since CKD has been linked to oxidative stress caused by dysregulation of the genes that control mitochondria, they believe that CKD patients may have an impaired mitochondrial respiratory system.

“This condition may be both the consequence and the cause of enhanced oxidative stress,” explains Gianluigi Zaza from the renal unit of University of Bari, Italy. The research is published in BMC Genomics. The paper is titled “Mitochondrial dysregulation and oxidative stress in patients with chronic kidney patients.”

The researchers found 44 genes that were upregulated in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of CKD patients compared to normal controls. Of these, 11 genes were involved in the oxidative phosphorylation system. Further tests revealed that the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were significantly higher in the CKD group.

Zaza and his colleagues suggest that these species are part of a vicious circle of respiration dysregulation that ultimately results in CKD. “Our hypothesis is that an increased production of ROS due to the effect of pro-inflammatory mediators may cause a profound inhibition of the oxidative phosphorylation system leading to a compensatory hypertrophy of its components. In addition, a hypertrophic and impaired oxidative phosphorylation system may prime a vicious circle, causing a continuous release of ROS.”

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