Membrane attack complex generation increases as a function of time in stored blood

Academic Article


  • SUMMARY: Objective: To determine if the complement system, a potent mediator of inflammation, contributes to haemolysis during red blood cell (RBC) storage. Background: RBCs in storage undergo structural and biochemical changes that may result in adverse patient outcomes post-transfusion. Complement activation on leukodepletion and during storage may contribute to the RBC storage lesion. Methods/Materials: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of aliquots of leukoreduced RBC units, stored for 1-6weeks, for the levels of C3a, C5a, Bb, iC3b, C4d and C5b-9 [membrane attack complex (MAC)] by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: We observed that only MAC levels significantly increased in RBC units as a function of storage time. We also observed that the level of C5b-9 bound to RBCs increased as a function of storage time. Conclusion: MAC levels increased over time, suggesting that MAC is the primary complement-mediated contributor to changes in stored RBCs. Inhibition of the terminal complement pathway may stabilise RBC functionality and extend shelf life. © 2014 British Blood Transfusion Society.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hu X; Patel RP; Weinberg JA; Marques MB; Ramos TN; Barnum SR
  • Start Page

  • 114
  • End Page

  • 116
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 2