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Am J Physiol. 1996 Dec;271(6 Pt 1):C1847-52.

Effects of lost surface area on red blood cells and red blood cell survival in mice.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642, USA.

Abstract

The effects of removing area from mouse red blood cells on the fate of the cells after reinfusion were investigated. When cells were made nearly spherical (by reducing cell area by approximately 35%) and then reinfused into the animal, most were cleared from the circulation within 1-2 h, although approximately 20% of the cells survived for 4 h or longer. When only 20% of the area was removed (leaving a 15% excess), more than 90% of the cells continued to circulate for 4 h. After reinfusion, the mean surface area of the surviving cells remained constant (73-75 microns2), but the mean volume decreased, from 56.6 +/- 2.1 to 19.1 +/- 1.5 microns3 (+/- SD of 5 replicates) over 4 h. These changes did not occur in cells suspended in plasma but not reinfused into the animal. Thus a loss of surface area results in a decrease in cell volume, as if to maintain a requisite degree of deformability. The results support the hypothesis that the increase in cell density associated with increasing cell age may be a consequence of surface area loss.

PMID:
8997184
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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