In the present study, activity of polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) intra-cellular antioxidant enzymes, i.e. catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), was assessed in CRF patients on hemodialysis (HD), or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and in healthy controls. The activity of SOD and GPX was reduced in HD and in CAPD (SOD: by 34.2 and 42%, respectively, and GPX 66 vs. 42%, respectively, taking the activity in normal controls as 100%). Catalase activity, on the other hand, was significantly augmented (298 and 175%, respectively) as compared to the healthy controls. This impairment in antioxidant enzymes activity, involved in the respiratory burst and phagocytosis, may contribute to the understanding of the reduced bactericidal ability of PMNL activity found in these patients.

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