In vitro incubation induces, in rabbit red cell membranes, significant modifications consisting mainly in a decrease of sialic acid and galactose. In vivo the life span of incubated erythrocytes seems to be correlated to the degree of surface alterations and ATP depletion: larger surface modifications and energy charge reduction induce shorter survival time. It can therefore be postulated that incubation of red cell in vitro can cause an ageing process similar to that occurring physiologically in vivo.
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© 1981 S. Karger AG, Basel
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