Characterization of Senescent Red Cells from the Rabbit
The mammalian erythrocyte survives a multitude of insults during its circulating lifespan including oxidant attack, calcium influxes, repeated deformation and glycation among others (1). Nevertheless, the majority of red cells survive and apparently function well for the entire pre-programmed time period which represents their lifespan. Neither the mechanism which determines the time frame of the lifespan nor the signal that triggers the removal of the senescent cell by macrophages is known (1). The lack of knowledge concerning this fundamental biological process can clearly be attributed to a single underlying problem, the difficulty of reliably isolating aged red cells (2). The majority of investigators in this field have utilized a variety of physical techniques for isolating aged cells (1) based upon assumptions as to changes which may occur with red cell aging, for example, an increase in cellular density. As a result, there have been literally thousands of reports documenting the changes in red cell properties as a function of cellular density with the assumption that these findings reflect changes with age. It has now, however, become increasingly clear that density fractionation is not capable of producing a sufficiently pure population of aged erythrocytes to allow any biochemical characterization of age-dependent changes (3–6).
KeywordsParoxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Rabbit Erythrocyte Scripps Clinic Aged Erythrocyte Senescent Erythrocyte
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