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Red blood cells of sickle cell disease patients exhibit abnormally high abundance of N-methyl D-aspartate receptors mediating excessive calcium uptake


Hänggi, Pascal; Makhro, Asya; Gassmann, Max; Schmugge, Markus; Goede, Jeroen S; Speer, Oliver; Bogdanova, Anna (2014). Red blood cells of sickle cell disease patients exhibit abnormally high abundance of N-methyl D-aspartate receptors mediating excessive calcium uptake. British Journal of Haematology, 167(2):252-264.

Abstract

Recently we showed that N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are expressed in erythroid precursors (EPCs) and present in the circulating red blood cells (RBCs) of healthy humans, regulating intracellular Ca(2+) in these cells. This study focuses on investigating the possible role of NMDARs in abnormally high Ca(2+) permeability in the RBCs of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Protein levels of the NMDAR subunits in the EPCs of SCD patients did not differ from those in EPCs of healthy humans. However, the number and activity of the NMDARs in circulating SCD-RBCs was substantially up-regulated, being particularly high during haemolytic crises. The number of active NMDARs correlated negatively with haematocrit and haemoglobin levels in the blood of SCD patients. Calcium uptake via these non-selective cation channels was induced by RBC treatment with glycine, glutamate and homocysteine and was facilitated by de-oxygenation of SCD-RBCs. Oxidative stress and RBC dehydration followed receptor stimulation and Ca(2+) uptake. Inhibition of the NMDARs with an antagonist memantine caused re-hydration and largely prevented hypoxia-induced sickling. The EPCs of SCD patients showed higher tolerance to memantine than those of healthy subjects. Consequently, NMDARs in the RBCs of SCD patients appear to be an attractive target for pharmacological intervention.

Abstract

Recently we showed that N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are expressed in erythroid precursors (EPCs) and present in the circulating red blood cells (RBCs) of healthy humans, regulating intracellular Ca(2+) in these cells. This study focuses on investigating the possible role of NMDARs in abnormally high Ca(2+) permeability in the RBCs of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Protein levels of the NMDAR subunits in the EPCs of SCD patients did not differ from those in EPCs of healthy humans. However, the number and activity of the NMDARs in circulating SCD-RBCs was substantially up-regulated, being particularly high during haemolytic crises. The number of active NMDARs correlated negatively with haematocrit and haemoglobin levels in the blood of SCD patients. Calcium uptake via these non-selective cation channels was induced by RBC treatment with glycine, glutamate and homocysteine and was facilitated by de-oxygenation of SCD-RBCs. Oxidative stress and RBC dehydration followed receptor stimulation and Ca(2+) uptake. Inhibition of the NMDARs with an antagonist memantine caused re-hydration and largely prevented hypoxia-induced sickling. The EPCs of SCD patients showed higher tolerance to memantine than those of healthy subjects. Consequently, NMDARs in the RBCs of SCD patients appear to be an attractive target for pharmacological intervention.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Hematology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:18 July 2014
Deposited On:19 Aug 2014 16:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:01
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0007-1048
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/bjh.13028
PubMed ID:25041184

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