Background. Phagocytosis of IgG- or complement-opsonized bacteria and antibody production by lymphocytes are regulated by cell surface receptors for IgG (FcγRI, FcγRII and FcγRIII) and complement (CR1 and CR3). We measured the effect of uraemia and dialysis treatment on FcγR and CR expression on leukocytes in blood. Methods. Blood samples were obtained from children: 40 treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD), 23 with haemodialysis (HD), 46 not yet dialysed (CRF) and 33 healthy (HC). White blood cells, isolated from EDTA-blood by centrifugation after cell fixation with paraformaldehyde, were labelled with FITC-conjugated CD16 (FcγRIII), CD32 (FcγRII), CD64 (FcγRI), CD11b (CR3) and CD35 (CR1) monoclonal antibodies and analysed by flow cytometry. Results. In PD, HD, CRF and HC, monocytes and neutrophils were all positive for FcγR and CR, except for CD16 on monocytes (20% positive). Lymphocytes expressed CD16 and CD32 but not CD64. PD, HD and CRF children had lower percentages of CD16+ and CD32+ lymphocytes compared with HC. The percentage of CD11b+ lymphocytes was lower only in PD and the percentage of CD35+ lymphocytes was lower in HD and CRF compared with HC. The median CD32 mean fluorescense intensity (MFI) on lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils was lower in PD, HD and CRF compared with HC. On the other hand, CD11b MFI on lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils was higher in PD, HD and CRF children compared with HC. CD16 and CD64 MFI were not different among the groups and CD35 MFI was only lower on lymphocytes from PD, HD and CRF compared with HC. Conclusions. In children with chronic renal failure, whether dialysed or not, Fcγ RII expression on lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils was reduced and CR3 expression was increased. Furthermore, CR1 expression on lymphocytes, important for the humoral response, was lower in children with renal failure. Age and uraemia are associated with these abnormalities and might contribute to impaired immune function in children with chronic renal failure
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