It is known that deformation of red blood cells (RBCs) is linked to ATP release from the cells. Further, membrane cholesterol has been shown to alter properties of the cell membrane such as fluidity and bending stiffness. Membrane cholesterol content is increased in some cardiovascular diseases, for example, in individuals with acute coronary syndromes and chronic stable angina, and therefore, because of the potential clinical relevance, we investigated the influence of altered RBC membrane cholesterol levels on ATP release. Because of the correlation between statins and reduced membrane cholesterol in vivo, we also investigated the effects of simvastatin on RBC deformation and ATP release. We found that reducing membrane cholesterol increases cell deformability and ATP release. We also found that simvastatin increases deformability by acting directly on the membrane in the absence of the liver, and that ATP release was increased for cells with enriched cholesterol after treatment with simvastatin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology