Oxidative stress, eryptosis and anemia: a pivotal mechanistic nexus in systemic diseases Academic Article uri icon

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  • The average lifespan of circulating erythrocytes usually exceeds hundred days. Prior to that, however, erythrocytes may be exposed to oxidative stress in the circulation which could cause injury and trigger their suicidal death or eryptosis. Oxidative stress activates Ca2+ -permeable nonselective cation channels in the cell membrane, thus, stimulating Ca2+ entry and subsequent cell membrane scrambling resulting in phosphatidylserine exposure and activation of Ca2+ -sensitive K+ channels leading to K+ exit, hyperpolarization, Cl- exit, and ultimately cell shrinkage due to loss of KCl and osmotically driven water. While the mechanistic link between oxidative stress and anemia remains ill-defined, several diseases such as diabetes, hepatic failure, malignancy, chronic kidney disease and inflammation have been identified to display both increased oxidative stress as well as eryptosis. Recent compelling evidence suggests that oxidative stress is an important perpetrator in accelerating erythrocyte loss in different systemic conditions and an underlying mechanism for anemia associated with these pathological states. In the present review, we discuss the role of oxidative stress in reducing erythrocyte survival and provide novel insights into the possible use of antioxidants as putative antieryptotic and antianemic agents in a variety of systemic diseases.


  • Bissinger, Rosi
  • Bhuyan, Abdulla Al Mamun
  • Qadri, Syed
  • Lang, Florian

publication date

  • March 2019