DOI: 10.3390/metabo13070793 ISSN: 2218-1989

Red Blood Cell Metabolism In Vivo and In Vitro

Angelo D’Alessandro, Alkmini T. Anastasiadi, Vassilis L. Tzounakas, Travis Nemkov, Julie A. Reisz, Anastsios G. Kriebardis, James C. Zimring, Steven L. Spitalnik, Michael P. Busch
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Red blood cells (RBC) are the most abundant cell in the human body, with a central role in oxygen transport and its delivery to tissues. However, omics technologies recently revealed the unanticipated complexity of the RBC proteome and metabolome, paving the way for a reinterpretation of the mechanisms by which RBC metabolism regulates systems biology beyond oxygen transport. The new data and analytical tools also informed the dissection of the changes that RBCs undergo during refrigerated storage under blood bank conditions, a logistic necessity that makes >100 million units available for life-saving transfusions every year worldwide. In this narrative review, we summarize the last decade of advances in the field of RBC metabolism in vivo and in the blood bank in vitro, a narrative largely influenced by the authors’ own journeys in this field. We hope that this review will stimulate further research in this interesting and medically important area or, at least, serve as a testament to our fascination with this simple, yet complex, cell.

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