Background. Blood transfusion is an established therapeutic practice. The characteristics of blood components at different storage times are expected to affect the efficacy of transfusion therapy. Metabolic profiling by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy requires little or no sample treatment and allows identification of more than 50 soluble metabolites in a single experiment. The aim of this study was to assess the metabolic behaviour of red blood cells during 42 days of storage in blood bank conditions.
Materials and methods. Red blood cells (RBC), collected from eight healthy male donors, aged 25-50 years, were prepared as prestorage leukoreduced erythrocyte concentrates and stored under standard blood bank conditions. Samples taken at various storage times were separated in two fractions: the supernatant, recovered after centrifugation, and the red blood cell lysate obtained after protein depletion by ultrafiltration. The metabolic profile of the red blood cells was determined from analysis of 1H-NMR spectra.
Results. The red blood cell supernatant was studied to track the consumption of the preservative additives and to detect and quantify up to 30 metabolites excreted by the erythrocytes. The NMR spectra of the RBC lysate provided complementary information on some biochemical pathways and set the basis for building a time-dependent red blood cell metabolic profile.
Discussion. We proved the analytical power of 1H-NMR spectroscopy to study red blood cell metabolism under blood bank conditions. A potential biomarker able to provide information on the level of cellular oxidative stress protection was identified. Our data support the hypothesis that a more detailed knowledge of metabolic modifications during storage opens the way to the development of new and more effective protocols for red blood cell conservation and patient-oriented transfusion therapy.
- Metabolic profile
- RBC storage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy