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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cholesterol-loading of membranes of normal erythrocytes inhibits phospholipid repair and arachidonoyl-CoA:1-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine acyl transferase. A model of spur cell anemia.

Spur cell anemia may occur in severe liver disease including alcoholic cirrhosis. Spur cell anemia red blood cells (RBCs) have a characteristic morphology, with irregular projections, an increased ratio of membrane cholesterol (Ch) to phospholipid, evidence of oxidative damage, and shortened survival resulting in hemolytic anemia. Normal RBCs may acquire many of the features of spur cells either by transfusion into a spur cell patient or in an in vitro model system that loads the RBC membrane with Ch relative to phospholipid by means of Ch-rich, phospholipid-Ch sonicates. We found evidence of abnormal phospholipid repair metabolism in spur cell anemia RBCs characterized by decreased arachidonate (Ar) uptake into phospholipids and by increased uptake into a fatty acid membrane repair intermediate, acylcarnitine (AcylCn). To study the possible modulation of phospholipid repair metabolism in spur cells by Ch-loading, we compared the Ar metabolism of RBCs loaded with Ch in vitro with that of control cells incubated in autologous serum. Ar, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, is especially sensitive to peroxidation and, thus, is likely to be involved in phospholipid repair. Ch-loading decreased the incorporation of [14C]Ar into total lipids (Ch-loaded, 1,113 +/- 48 pmol/10(10) RBCs; control, 1,525 +/- 48 pmol/10(10) RBCs) including phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylcholine. Uptake of [14C]Ar into AcylCn increased (control AcylCn, 169 +/- 31 pmol/10(10) RBCs; Ch-loaded AcylCn, 196 +/- 35 pmol/10(10) RBCs; P = .0012). Thimerosal, an inhibitor of arachidonoyl- CoA:l-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine acyl transferase or lysophosphocholine acyl transferase (LAT), produced a similar pattern of metabolic abnormality, with decreased incorporation into phospholipid but relative increase into AcylCn. We assayed LAT in RBC membranes from Ch-loaded RBCs, using [14C]arachidonoyl CoA as precursor, and found similar decreased LAT activity at concentrations of 1-palmitoyllysophosphatidylcholine ( LPC) from 1 to 30 micromol/L. Similar LAT assay results were obtained using [14C]palmitoyl LPC as the precursor. We conclude that Ch-loading of RBC membranes results in inhibition of LAT in the cell-free system in vitro and may account for the inhibited phospholipid repair in Ch-loaded intact RBCs in vitro and in spur cell anemia RBCs in vivo. Decreased ability to replace peroxidized membrane fatty acid by this metabolic pathway may contribute to the hemolytic process in spur cell anemia.[1]


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