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Volume 11 (2011), Pages 173-185
Research Article

Vesicles Generated during Storage of Red Blood Cells Enhance the Generation of Radical Oxygen Speciesin Activated Neutrophils

Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Received 28 September 2010; Revised 23 November 2010; Accepted 19 December 2010

Academic Editor: Edward J. Benz

Copyright © 2011 Herbert Jank and Ulrich Salzer.


Erythrocytes are known to shed vesicles in vivo, under various conditions in vitro, and, with impact for transfusion medicine, during storage of red blood cell concentrates (Vsto vesicles). Vsto vesicles of blood transfusions have been shown to deliver glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked proteins to recipient erythrocytes, to display prothrombotic activity, and to have an inhibitory effect on macrophages. The interaction of Vsto vesicles with and their effect on neutrophilic granulocytes has not yet been studied in detail. Fluorescentlylabeled Vsto and calcium-induced vesicles were preparedin order to study the uptake of labeled vesicular components by neutrophils as compared to the process of phagocytosis of zymosan using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The activating effect of Vsto vesicles on neutrophils was addressed by a luminometric assay for stimulated radical oxygen species (ROS) generation. Coincubation of vesicles and neutrophils results in a transfer of vesicular components to the cells. This uptake is different from a phagocytotic process and is enhanced upon interference with the cellular actin cytoskeleton. Preincubation of neutrophils with Vsto vesicles results in an enhanced ROS generation by neutrophils, which is further increased upon fMLP stimulation and during zymosan phagocytosis. The activating effect of Vsto vesicles on neutrophils might be due to the specific accumulation of lysophospholipidsin Vsto vesicles and should be considered as a possible contributor to the pathogenesis of transfusion-related acute lung injury.