Author(s): Fernandes A, Mira ML, Azevedo MS, Manso C
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Abstract An excess of copper is the cause of hemolysis in a number of clinical conditions. Incubation of human erythrocyte (RBC) suspensions with copper (II) causes the formation of methemoglobin, lipid peroxidation and hemolysis. A new variant of the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method, which minimizes the formation of interfering chromophores, was used to detect lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation precedes hemolysis and the antioxidant vitamins C and E, which inhibit lipid peroxidation, also inhibit hemolysis. Consequently lipid peroxidation appears to be the cause of RBC destruction. Lipid peroxidation arises mostly from the oxidation of oxyhemoglobin by copper as it is inhibited in RBCs with carbon monoxyhemoglobin or methemoglobin. A direct interaction of copper with the red cell membrane seems to play only a minor role. Copper effects depend on the presence of free SH groups. Lipid peroxidation is probably initiated by activated forms of oxygen as it is increased by an inhibitor of catalase and reduced by hydroxyl radical scavengers. With higher copper concentrations hemolysis is greater: its mechanism appears different as lipid peroxidation is smaller but hemoglobin alterations, namely precipitation, are more pronounced.
This article was published in Free Radic Res Commun
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports