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Biochem Pharmacol. 1984 May 1;33(9):1417-21.

Glucose metabolism of oxidatively stressed human red blood cells incubated in plasma or medium containing physiologic concentrations of lactate, pyruvate and ascorbate.


Red cells suspended in either defined medium or buffered plasma were oxidatively stressed by incubation in the presence of 1,4-naphthoquinone-2-sulfonate at concentrations which caused less than 50% methemoglobin accumulation, stimulation of the hexose monophosphate shunt to less than 15% of capacity, and about a 30% increase in flux through glycolysis. Normal plasma concentrations of lactate and pyruvate in either defined medium or buffered plasma allowed increased contribution of reducing equivalents from glycolysis in response to oxidative stress. Increased utilization of reducing equivalents by the red cell was observed as increased accumulation of pyruvate, whereas accumulation of lactate represented storage of reducing equivalents. Exogenous lactate or pyruvate did not serve as a net electron source or sink since the total content in red cell suspensions of both lactate and pyruvate was increased during exposure to oxidative stress. If exogenous lactate had been used as a net source of reducing equivalents, the lactate concentration would have decreased during incubation of red cell suspensions. Plasma ascorbate or other constituents did not alter the qualitative response of glycolysis to oxidative stress (decreased lactate accumulation, increased pyruvate accumulation, and increased total flux through glycolysis), but plasma constituents did raise significantly the dose of oxidant agent required to elicit a given quantitative response. At levels of oxidative stress likely to be encountered in vivo, glycolysis and the hexose monophosphate shunt may be equal in importance as aerobic/antioxidant pathways.

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