The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro the modifications in the profile of erythrocyte membrane protein band 3 (monomer, aggregates and fragments) imposed by cellular aging, by activated neutrophils (AN) and by neutrophilic elastase. The modifications imposed by cellular aging were evaluated in fractions of less dense and dense red blood cells (RBCs). To evaluate the changes imposed by AN, suspensions of RBCs and AN were used, in a ratio similar to or higher than that described elsewhere for individuals post-myocardial infarction (Santos-Silva A et al. Atherosclerosis 1995; 116:199-209). Neutrophilic elastase was used at increased concentrations. We found that the modifications imposed upon band 3 profile by AN and neutrophilic elastase were significantly correlated with AN and elastase concentration, and were similar to those presented by cellular aging. We propose band 3 profile as a useful cumulative marker of oxidative and/or proteolytic stress conditions, namely those arising from normal RBC aging or from an accelerated aging process imposed by stressful situations, such as inflammatory diseases. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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