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Active caspases – 8 and -3 in circulating human erythrocytes purified on immobilized Annexin-V. A cytometric demonstration

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Bratosin D., Tcacenco L., Sidoroff M., Cotoraci C., Slomianny C., Estaquier J. and Montreuil J.

Editorial: Cytometry Part A, , 75A, p.236-244, 2009.


Human red blood cells (RBCs) have a normal life span of 120 days in vivo and might be primed in vitro to die in response to apoptotic stimuli through a caspase-independent pathway. It is well known that, in vivo, aging RBCs externalize phosphatidylserine residues but is unknown whether these cells express active caspases at this stage. We isolated RBCs expressing phosphatidylserine on their surface from human blood by applying an original method of affinity chromatography using annexin-V fixed on gelatin or on magnetic beads. The isolated RBCs were then analyzed by flow cytometry for morphological
changes (dot-plot forward scatter versus side scatter), phosphatidylserine externalization (annexin-V test), cell viability (calcein-AM test), and caspase activities using fluorescent substrates specific for caspases-3 and -8. In addition, cells were systematically visualized using phase contrast, fluorescence, and confocal microscopy. We found that the population of RBCs fixed on annexin-V is a mixture of discocytes and shrunken cells. This annexin-V-positive population showed a dramatic loss of viability based on esterase activity determination (Calcein-AM test). Moreover, we demonstrated
that circulating RBCs express both active caspases-8 and -3 in half of the Annexin-V positive cells. All of these results were confirmed by phase contrast, fluorescence, and
confocal microscopy. Our results demonstrate active caspases in RBC isolated from blood suggesting that caspases may participate in the regulation of in vivo RBC
half-life. This finding open the door to fruitful investigations in the field of RBC pathology.

Cuvinte cheie: erythrocytes; apoptosis; erythrocyte senescence; phosphatidylserine exposure; caspase-3;