Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 13, Issue 5–6, pp 307–316 | Cite as

Constancy of cell volume during shape change of erythrocytes induced by increasing ATP content

  • Makoto Nakao
  • Kumiko Hoshino
  • Toshiko Nakao
Research Papers


Erythrocytes in long-preserved blood are spherical, but when the cells are incubated with inosine and adenine, the resulting increase in ATP content is accompanied by a shape change of the cells to discoidal form via a crenated form. The cells incubated with adenine alone or with no addition remain almost unchanged in shape. When incubated with inosine alone, the elevation in ATP level is less than that with both inosine and adenine, and the cell shape remains unchanged or changes partially into a crenated form. These phenomena occur in the presence of EDTA as well as in the absence of serum protein in the media. The cell volumes are measured as packed cell volume after centrifugation, by means of a Coulter counter (model S), and by determination of the intercellular space by the use of131I-labeled bovine serum albumin. The results show that no alteration in cell volume occurs during the shape changes. Accordingly, the surface area of the cell must increase with increase in the ATP content. This suggests that both the lipid bimolecular layer and the undermembrane structure are altered during the shape change.

Key Words

Red blood cell ACD blood adenine inosine ATP red cell shape surface area erythrocyte undermembrane structure 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Nakao
    • 1
  • Kumiko Hoshino
    • 1
  • Toshiko Nakao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryTokyo Medical and Dental University School of MedicineTokyo
  2. 2.Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public HealthTokyo

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