Erythrocyte is one of the earliest and extensively analyzed blood cells in blood physiological and clinical studies. The erythrocyte membrane is negatively charged and sialic acid residues are responsible for most of the negative charge at the cell surface. This negative charge on the red blood cells (RBC) surface is believed to prevent RBC aggregation. This charge varies in different disease condition which can be determined by zeta potential (ZP) values. The present study deals with alteration in zeta potential of erythrocytes in preeclampsia patients. The mean erythrocytic ZP of control pregnant women taken during third trimester was found to be 21.64 ± 0.3122 mV whereas; when erythrocytic ZP of preeclampsia patients was measured it was found to be 15.13 ± 0.1393 mV which was significantly less than that of control pregnant volunteers. Alteration in zeta potential value was accompanied by endothelial damage which is able to mechanically deform and hemolyze erythrocytes as they pass through the capillaries. It was also observed from determination of lipid peroxidation of erythrocytes, that there is formation of higher concentration of malondialdehyde within the erythrocytes of preeclampsia patients. The data suggest that, in preeclampsia there is excessive accumulation of oxidative stress which causes injury to vascular endothelial cells by generation of lipid peroxides and detachment of sialic acid residues. As a result there is alteration in the net negative surface charge on RBCs extracellular membrane which leads to alteration in zeta potential value. Thus it can be concluded that zeta potential value of erythrocytes can act as a screening test to anticipate pregnancies at high risk for this complication.
Part of the book: Prediction of Maternal and Fetal Syndrome of Preeclampsia