The role of red blood cell deformability and Na,K-ATPase function in selected risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in humans: focus on hypertension, diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia

Physiological Research
J Radosinska, N Vrbjar


Deformability of red blood cells (RBC) is the ability of RBC to change their shape in order to pass through narrow capillaries in circulation. Deterioration in deformability of RBC contributes to alterations in microcirculatory blood flow and delivery of oxygen to tissues. Several factors are responsible for maintenance of RBC deformability. One of them is the Na,K-ATPase known as crucial enzyme in maintenance of intracellular ionic homeostasis affecting thus regulation of cellular volume and consequently RBC deformability. Decreased deformability of RBC has been found to be the marker of adverse outcomes in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors influences rheological properties of the blood. This review summarizes knowledge concerning the RBC deformability in connection with selected risk factors of CVD, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus, based exclusively on papers from human studies. We attempted to provide an update on important issues regarding the role of Na,K-ATPase in RBC deformability. In patients suffering from hypertension as well as diabetes mellitus the Na,K-ATPase appears to be responsible for the changes leading to alterations in RBC deformabilit...Continue Reading


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