Additive effect of red blood cell rigidity and adherence to endothelial cells in inducing vascular resistance

D. K. Kaul, A. Koshkaryev, G. Artmann, G. Barshtein*, S. Yedgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


To explore the contribution of red blood cell (RBC) deformability and interaction with endothelial cells (ECs) to circulatory disorders, these RBC properties were modified by treatment with hydrogen peroxide (H 2O2), and their effects on vascular resistance were monitored following their infusion into rat mesocecum vasculature. Treatment with 0.5 mM H2O2 increased RBC/EC adherence without significant alteration of RBC deformability. At 5.0 mM H2O 2, RBC deformability was considerably reduced, inducing a threefold increase in the number of undeformable cells, whereas RBC/EC adherence was not further affected by the increased H2O2 concentration. This enabled the selective manipulation of RBC adherence and deformability and the testing of their differential effect on vascular resistance. Perfusion of RBCs with enhanced adherence and unchanged deformability (treatment with 0.5 mM H2O2) increased vascular resistance by about 35% compared with untreated control RBCs. Perfusion of 5.0 mM H2O 2-treated RBCs, with reduced deformability (without additional increase of adherence), further increased vascular resistance by about 60% compared with untreated control RBCs. These results demonstrate the specific effects of elevated adherence and reduced deformability of oxidized RBCs on vascular resistance. These effects can be additive, depending on the oxidation conditions. The oxidation-induced changes applied in this study are moderate compared with those observed in RBCs in pathological states. Yet, they caused a considerable increase in vascular resistance, thus demonstrating the potency of RBC/EC adherence and RBC deformability in determining resistance to blood flow in vivo.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)H1788-H1793
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Adhesion
  • Aggregability
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Erythrocyte rheology


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