Phenomena related to chronic kidney disease, such as atherosclerosis, aggravate with the introduction of dialysis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and factors modifying their activity, such as their tissue inhibitors (TIMP) or neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), take part in the matrix turnover and the endothelial damage characteristic for atherogenesis. However, there are no data on the associations between these parameters and other known pro-atherogenic factors, or on the impact of various dialysis modalities on them. The aim of our study was to assess the serum concentrations of NGAL, MMP-7, MMP-9, and TIMP-1, as well as their correlations with human heat shock proteins (Hsp90α, anti-Hsp60), endothelial dysfunction (sE-selectin), and inflammation (hsCRP) in pediatric patients chronically dialyzed. Twenty-two children on automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), 17 patients on hemodialysis (HD) and 24 controls were examined. The serum concentrations of NGAL, MMP-7, MMP-9, TIMP-1, Hsp90α, anti-Hsp60, and sE-selectin were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The median values of NGAL, MMP-7, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and MMP-9/NGAL ratio were significantly elevated in all dialyzed children vs. controls and were higher in HD than in APD. The values of MMP-9/TIMP-1 and MMP-7/TIMP-1 ratios in the HD subjects were lower than those in the APD children. Hsp90α and anti-Hsp60 predicted the values of NGAL, MMPs, and TIMP-1. Additionally, sE-selectin was a predictor of NGAL levels, whereas NGAL predicted the MMP and TIMP-1 concentrations. The increased concentrations of examined parameters indicate the dysfunction of MMP/TIMP/NGAL system in the dialyzed children, more pronounced on hemodialysis. The discrepancies between dialysis modalities and correlations with heat shock proteins (HSPs) suggest that NGAL may be considered a novel stress protein, whereas MMP-7, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 may be regarded as indicators of stress response in the pediatric population on chronic dialysis
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