Department of Physiology, University of Tübingen, Gmelinstrasse 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:513518. doi: 10.1155/2015/513518. Epub 2015 Mar 4
Suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis is characterized by erythrocyte shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing, and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Triggers of eryptosis include Ca(2+) entry, ceramide formation, stimulation of caspases, calpain activation, energy depletion, oxidative stress, and dysregulation of several kinases. Eryptosis is triggered by a wide variety of xenobiotics. It is inhibited by several xenobiotics and endogenous molecules including NO and erythropoietin. The susceptibility of erythrocytes to eryptosis increases with erythrocyte age. Phosphatidylserine exposing erythrocytes adhere to the vascular wall by binding to endothelial CXC-Motiv-Chemokin-16/Scavenger-receptor for phosphatidylserine and oxidized low density lipoprotein (CXCL16). Phosphatidylserine exposing erythrocytes are further engulfed by phagocytosing cells and are thus rapidly cleared from circulating blood. Eryptosis eliminates infected or defective erythrocytes thus counteracting parasitemia in malaria and preventing detrimental hemolysis of defective cells. Excessive eryptosis, however, may lead to anemia and may interfere with microcirculation. Enhanced eryptosis contributes to the pathophysiology of several clinical disorders including metabolic syndrome and diabetes, malignancy, cardiac and renal insufficiency, hemolytic uremic syndrome, sepsis, mycoplasma infection, malaria, iron deficiency, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and Wilson's disease. Facilitating or inhibiting eryptosis may be a therapeutic option in those disorders.