Zimring, J C, et al., Strain-Specific Rbc Storage, Metabolism, and Eicosanoid Generation in a Mouse Model. Transfusion, 2013.


Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is a lifesaving therapy, the logistic implementation of which requires RBC storage. However, stored RBCs exhibit substantial donor variability in multiple characteristics, including hemolysis in vitro and RBC recovery in vivo. The basis of donor variability is poorly understood.

Study Design and Methods:
We applied a murine model of RBC storage and transfusion to test the hypothesis that genetically distinct inbred strains of mice would demonstrate strain-specific differences in RBC storage. In vivo recoveries were determined by monitoring transfused RBCs over 24 hours. Timed aliquots of stored RBCs were subjected to tandem chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis to elucidate metabolic changes in the RBCs during storage.

Using independent inbred mouse strains as donors, we found substantial strain-specific differences in posttransfusion RBC recovery in vivo after standardized refrigerated storage in vitro. Poor posttransfusion RBC recovery correlated with reproducible metabolic variations in the stored RBC units, including increased lipid peroxidation, decreased levels of multiple natural antioxidants, and accumulation of cytidine. Strain-dependent differences were also observed in eicosanoid generation (i.e., prostaglandins and leukotrienes).

These findings provide the first evidence of strain-specific metabolomic differences after refrigerated storage of murine RBCs. They also provide the first definitive biochemical evidence for strain-specific variation of eicosanoid generation during RBC storage. The molecules described that correlate with RBC storage quality, and their associated biochemical pathways, suggest multiple causal hypotheses that can be tested regarding predicting the quality of RBC units before transfusion and developing methods of improved RBC storage.

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