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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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In Vitro Cytotoxicity of Four Different Buffers for Use in Peritoneal Dialysis

Lena E. Järkelid, Eva Svensson, Reinhold Deppisch and Anders Wieslander

Various buffers can be used in fluids for peritoneal dialysis (PD). Lactate is the most frequently used buffer, but bicarbonate and pyruvate have been suggested as more biocompatible alternatives. In the past, acetate was used as a buffer in PD fluids, but was abandoned after being linked with sclerosing peritonitis and loss of ultrafiltration. When a new buffer for PD fluids is introduced, one of its most important characteristics is that it must be non-toxic, i.e. that it does not influence fundamental cellular functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the basal cytotoxicity of bicarbonate, acetate, lactate and pyruvate at neutral pH. As target cells, we used cultured mouse fibroblast-like L-929 cells, a well-known cell line approved by the authorities for regulatory use, and primary human mesothelial cells, which are the cells that line the peritoneal cavity and are exposed to the PD fluid in vivo. Pyruvate was more cytotoxic than lactate and bicarbonate, and no significant difference in cytotoxicity was found between lactate and bicarbonate. The human mesothelial cells were more sensitive to exposure to pyruvate than the L-929 fibroblast-like cells, but less sensitive to exposure to pure PD fluids. Thus, we recommend that both types of cell are used for the evaluation of the biocompatibility of PD fluids.