Effect of uremia on the membrane transport characteristics of red blood cells

Leah J. Langsdorf, Andrew L. Zydney

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34 Scopus citations


Even though there is extensive evidence that uremia affects the fragility and deformability of red blood cells (RBCs), essentially all data on the RBC membrane permeability have been obtained with nonuremic blood. Permeability data were obtained for creatinine and uric acid, two metabolites of interest in hemodialysis, using a stirred ultrafiltration device with direct cell- and protein-free sampling. Experiments examined the effects of temperature and suspending phase on solute transport for both normal and uremic blood cells. Creatinine and uric acid transport from normal RBCs at 37°C were characterized by saturation half-times of 40 ± 10 minutes and 54 ± 12 minutes, respectively. The corresponding half-times for uremic cells were significantly longer, 94 ± 26 minutes and 180 ± 38 minutes. Data indicated that the slower rate of creatinine transport in uremic blood was caused by an alteration in the RBC membrane, while the reduction in uric acid transport was associated with alterations in the uremic plasma. The temperature dependence of the RBC permeability was also much less pronounced for uremic cells for both solutes. These results provide important insights into the effects of uremia on the RBC membrane permeability, and have important implications for dialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-827
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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