Altered calcium metabolism in red blood cells of hypertensives: Persistent marker or sequel of essential hypertension?
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The characteristics of the increased calcium (Ca) influx observed in metabolically depleted red blood cells (RBCs) of hypertensive patients were investigated. Twenty-four normotensives, 16 untreated essential hypertensives, and 10 essential hypertensives under sufficient blood pressure control by 50–100 mg/day atenolol were studied. Free intracellular concentrations of Ca, sodium (Na), and potassium (K) were assessed using ion-selective electrodes in freeze-thawed RBCs, which were metabolically depleted by 30 mM desoxy-glucose at 37°C for 48 h. In the treated hypertensives values for Ca and K at 24 and 48 h were not different from values for the normotensives, whereas elevated Ca was found in RBCs of untreated hypertensives. Na in treated hypertensives was significantly increased at 0 and 48 h, thus, being similar to values for untreated hypertensives. Additionally, RBCs of six normals were stressed in a glass/teflon potter. Before metabolic depletion electrolytes were not affected by this procedure, while Ca at 24 and 48 h of metabolic depletion increased to significantly higher values for the hypertensive patients as compared to the controls. These results suggest that the altered Ca metabolism in the RBCs of hypertensives may reflect a secondary phenomenon due to the mechanical damage to RBCs by the elevated blood pressure.
Key wordsIntracellular calcium Red blood cells Calcium influx Antihypertensive therapy
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