Inhibition of Suicidal Erythrocyte Death by Xanthohumol Academic Article uri icon

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  • Xanthohumol is a proapoptotic hop-derived beer component with anticancer and antimicrobial activities. Similar to nucleated cells, erythrocytes may undergo suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is triggered by oxidative stress (tert-butylhydroperoxide, TBOOH) or energy depletion (removal of glucose). The triggers increase cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration, leading to activation of Ca(2+)-sensitive K(+) channels with subsequent cell shrinkage and to cell membrane scrambling with subsequent phosphatidylserine exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Eryptotic cells are cleared from the circulating blood, leading to anemia, and may adhere to the vascular wall, thus impeding microcirculation. The present experiments explored whether xanthohumol influences eryptosis using flow cytometry. Exposure of human erythrocytes to 0.3 mM TBOOH or incubation in glucose-free solution significantly increased Fluo3 fluorescence (Ca(2+) concentration) as well as annexin V-binding (cell membrane scrambling) and decreased forward scatter (cell volume), effects significantly blunted by xanthohumol. In conclusion, xanthohumol is a potent inhibitor of suicidal erythrocyte death in vitro.


  • Qadri, Syed
  • Mahmud, Hasan
  • Föller, Michael
  • Lang, Florian

publication date

  • August 26, 2009