Effect of Radiographic Contrast Media on the Spectrin/Band3-Network of the Membrane Skeleton of Erythrocytes


The membrane of red blood cells consists of a phospholipid bilayer with embedded membrane proteins and is associated on the cytoplasmatic side with a network of proteins, the membrane skeleton. Band3 has an important role as centre of the functional complexes e.g. gas exchange complex and as element of attachment for the membrane skeleton maintaining membrane stability and flexibility. Up to now it is unclear if band3 is involved in the morphology change of red blood cells after contact with radiographic contrast media. The study revealed for the first time that Iopromide induced markedly more severe alterations of the membrane skeleton compared to Iodixanol whose effects were similar to erythrocytes suspended in autologous plasma. A remarkable clustering of band3 was found associated with an accumulation of band3 in spicules and also a sequestration of band3 to the extracellular space. This was evidently accompanied by a gross reduction of functional band3 complexes combined with a dissociation of spectrin from band3 leading to a loss of homogeneity of the spectrin network. It could be demonstrated for the first time that RCM not only induced echinocyte formation but also exocytosis of particles at least coated with band3.
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