Lymphocyte blastogenic transformation in response to plant lectins and allogenic cells was studied in patients with nonuremic, far-advanced, chronic renal failure and in healthy controls. Cell cultures were studied in the presence of normal sera, patient's sera, and with media of different buffering capacities. Minimal blastogenic depression was observed when patient's lymphocytes were cultured in indifferent plasma with effective bicarbonate buffering compared with the use of pooled patient's plasma or HEPES buffer. Fresh plasma in culture depressed concanavalin A (Con A) blastogenesis. The data suggest that, under optimal conditions, lymphocytes from patients with chronic severe renal insufficiency are more responsive to stimuli than previously reported and as a group are near normal control values. Further, the defect observed may be a result of intracellular acidosis.
(Arch Intern Med 136:682-687, 1976)