Thalidomide suppresses sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis in a rat experimental model

Stefania Mondello, Emanuela Mazzon, Rosanna Di Paola, Concetta Crisafulli, Paolo Mondello, Michele Buemi, Carmelo Aloisi, Salvatore Cuzzocrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peritoneal dialysis is an alternative treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease. Sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis is a life-threatening complication of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of thalidomide, which is used for the treatment of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, on the development of sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis induced by chlorhexidine gluconate (CG). A peritoneal fibrosis model was established using rats treated intraperitoneally with injections of CG. Thalidomide was administered orally at a dose of 100 mg/kg three times per week. When compared with CG-treated rats, thalidomide (100 mg/kg orally)-treated mice subjected to CG-induced peritoneal fibrosis experienced a significantly lower rate in the extent and severity of histological signs of peritoneal injury. Thalidomide also caused a substantial reduction of 1) the rise in myeloperoxidase activity (mucosa); 2) the expression in the tissue of TNF-α, IL-1β., transforming growth factor-β, and vascular endothelial growth factor; 3) the increase in staining (immunohistochemistry) for nitrotyrosine and for poly(ADP ribose), as well as 4) the nuclear factor-κB activation caused by CG in the peritoneum. Thus, thalidomide treatment reduces the degree of peritoneal fibrosis caused by CG. We propose that this evidence may help clarify the potential therapeutic actions of thalidomide in patients with peritoneal fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • Cytokines
  • Peritoneal fibrosis
  • Thalidomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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