Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Sci (Lond). 1999 Feb;96(2):171-8.

Survival of human carrier erythrocytes in vivo.

Author information

Paediatric Metabolism Unit, Department of Child Health, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE, U.K.


Erythrocytes offer the exciting opportunity of being used as carriers of therapeutic agents. Encapsulation within erythrocytes will give the therapeutic agent a clearance equivalent to the normal life of the erythrocyte therefore maintaining therapeutic blood levels over prolonged periods and also giving a sustained delivery to the monocyte-macrophage system (reticulo-endothelial system). Both the dose and frequency of therapeutic interventions could thus be reduced. Ensuring a near-physiological survival time of carrier erythrocytes is essential to their successful use as a sustained drug delivery system, and this has not been demonstrated in man. In this study we assessed the survival in vivo of autologous unloaded energy-replete carrier erythrocytes in nine volunteers, using a standard 51Cr erythrocyte-labelling technique. Within 144 h after infusion there was a 3 to 49% fall in circulating labelled cells, followed thereafter by an almost complete return to initial circulating levels; surface counting demonstrated an initial sequestration of erythrocytes by the spleen and subsequent release. Mean cell life and cell half-life of the carrier erythrocytes were within the normal range of 89 to 131 days and 19 to 29 days respectively. These results demonstrate the viability of carrier erythrocytes as a sustained drug delivery system.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center