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N-acetylcysteine improves the quality of red blood cells stored for transfusion

Amen, Florencia, Machin, Andrea, Touriño, Cristina, Rodríguez, Ismael, Denicola, Ana, Thomson, Leonor
Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 2017 v.621 pp. 31-37
acetylcysteine, cell viability, cytosol, erythrocytes, glutathione, hemoglobin, hydrogen peroxide, storage time
Storage inflicts a series of changes on red blood cells (RBC) that compromise the cell survival and functionality; largely these alterations (storage lesions) are due to oxidative modifications. The possibility of improving the quality of packed RBC stored for transfusion including N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the preservation solution was explored. Relatively high concentrations of NAC (20–25 mM) were necessary to prevent the progressive leakage of hemoglobin, while lower concentrations (≥2.5 mM) were enough to prevent the loss of reduced glutathione during the first 21 days of storage. Peroxiredoxin-2 was also affected during storage, with a progressive accumulation of disulfide-linked dimers and hetero-protein complexes in the cytosol and also in the membrane of stored RBC. Although the presence of NAC in the storage solution was unable to avoid the formation of thiol-mediated protein complexes, it partially restored the capacity of the cell to metabolize H2O2, indicating the potential use of NAC as an additive in the preservation solution to improve RBC performance after transfusion.