Rate of deoxygenation modulates rheologic behavior of sickle red blood cells at a given mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration.Clin Hemorheol Microcirc 1999; 21(2):125-35CH
Although the mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) plays a dominant role in the rheologic behavior of deoxygenated density-defined sickle red blood cells (SS RBCs), previous studies have not explored the relationship between the rate of deoxygenation and the bulk viscosity of SS RBCs at a given MCHC. In the present study, we have subjected density-defined SS classes (i.e., medium-density SS4 and dense SS5 discocytes) to varying deoxygenation rates. This approach has allowed us to minimize the effects of SS RBC heterogeneity and investigate the effect of deoxygenation rates at a given MCHC. The results show that the percentages of granular cells, classic sickle cells and holly leaf forms in deoxygenated samples are significantly influenced by the rate of deoxygenation and the MCHC of a given discocyte subpopulation. Increasing the deoxygenation rate using high K+ medium (pH 6.8), results in a greater percentage of granular cells in SS4 suspensions, accompanied by a pronounced increase in the bulk viscosity of these cells compared with gradually deoxygenated samples (mainly classic sickle cells and holly leaf forms). The effect of MCHC becomes apparent when SS5 dense cells are subjected to varying deoxygenation rates. At a given deoxygenation rate, SS5 dense discocytes show a greater increase in the percentage of granular cells than that observed for SS4 RBCs. Also, at a given deoxygenation rate, SS5 suspensions exhibit a higher viscosity than SS4 suspensions with fast deoxygenation resulting in maximal increase in viscosity. Although MCHC is the main determinant of SS RBC rheologic behavior, these studies demonstrate for the first time that at a given MCHC, the rate of deoxygenation (hence HbS polymerization rates) further modulates the rheologic behavior of SS RBCs. Thus, both MCHC and the deoxygenation rate may contribute to microcirculatory flow behavior of SS RBCs.