Susceptibility to hyperosmotic stress-induced phosphatidylserine exposure increases during red blood cell storage
SourceTransfusion, 51, 5, (2011), pp. 1072-1078
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Medical Immunology
SubjectN4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; NCMLS 7: Chemical and physical biology
BACKGROUND: During storage of red blood cell (RBCs) before transfusion, RBCs undergo a series of structural and functional changes that include the exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS), a potent removal signal. It was postulated that, during blood bank storage, the susceptibility to stress-induced PS exposure increases, thereby rendering a considerable fraction of the RBCs susceptible to rapid removal after transfusion. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: RBCs were processed and stored following standard Dutch blood bank procedures. Samples were taken every week for up to 6 weeks and exposed to various stress conditions, such as hyperosmotic shock and energy depletion. The effect of these treatments on PS exposure was measured by flow cytometric analysis of annexin V binding. The same analyses were performed on RBCs that had been separated according to density using discontinuous Percoll gradients. RESULTS: During storage under blood bank conditions, RBCs become increasingly susceptible to loss of phospholipid asymmetry induced by hyperosmotic shock and energy depletion. Especially the RBCs of higher densities, that have a smaller volume and an increased HbA1c content as is typical of aged RBCs, become increasingly susceptible with storage time. CONCLUSIONS: During storage, RBCs develop an increased susceptibility to stress-induced loss of phospholipid asymmetry that is especially associated with an aging phenotype. This increased susceptibility may be responsible for the rapid disappearance of a considerable fraction of the RBCs during the first 24 hours after transfusion.
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