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Eur J Pharmacol. 2013 Feb 28;702(1-3):142-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.01.029. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Effect of the chemical specificity of benzoic acid and its analogs on osmotic fragility in erythrocytes of Sprague-Dawley rats in vitro.

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  • 1Faculty of Human Science, Hokkaido Bunkyo University, Eniwa, Hokkaido 061-1449, Japan.


We examined the chemical specificity of benzoic (benzene-carboxylic) acid and its derivatives in increasing osmotic fragility (OF) in rat red blood cells (RBCs) in vitro. Benzoic acid increased the OF in the rat RBCs in a dose-dependent manner. Replacement of the carboxylic group with a phosphoric group also increased the OF in RBCs, whereas substitution of the carboxylic group by a sulfonic, amide or hydroxy group did not affect the OF. Replacement of the benzene nucleus with a cyclohexane ring or a straight hydrocarbon chain with six carbons resulted in a greater increase in OF than that induced by benzoic acid. Introduction of a methyl group, chloride or bromide at the m- and p-positions of the benzene ring considerably enhanced the increase in OF induced by benzoic acid. Substitution of the amino and hydroxy group at the m- and p- positions abolished the increase in OF induced by benzoic acid. The introduction of these elements at the o-position showed an almost equal increase in OF as that observed for benzoic acid. A molecule of benzoic acid is composed of both hydrophilic (carboxylic group) and hydrophobic (benzene ring) components. Replacement of the hydrophilic component changed the balance formed between hydrophobic and hydrophilic components in the moiety, resulting alterations to its interaction with the RBC membrane. The size, form and elements introduced into the benzene ring also affected its affinity to the cell membrane, and changed the osmotic resistance in rat RBCs.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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