Membrane-bound iron contributes to oxidative damage of β-thalassaemia intermedia erythrocytes

Dario Tavazzi, Lorena Duca, Giovanna Graziadei, Alessia Comino, Gemino Fiorelli, Maria Domenica Cappellini

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Iron-dependent oxidative reactions in β-thalassaemic erythrocyte membranes are involved in premature cell removal and anaemia. We studied 22 β-thalassaemia intermedia patients (i) to assess if membrane iron accumulation influences the oxidative damage to thalassaemic cells, and (ii) to see whether the mechanisms of haemoglobin destabilization described in vitro have indicators in circulating erythrocytes. Serum non-transferrin-bound iron as potentially toxic iron for erythrocytes was also evaluated. Membrane-bound free iron significantly correlated to bound haemichromes, suggesting a causal relation, but was poorly related to serum non-transferrin iron, which seems to contribute little to damage from outside the cells. The spleen played an important role in the removal of cells with more membrane iron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Erythrocyte membrane
  • Iron
  • Oxidative stress
  • Thalassaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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