Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are neurodegenerative diseases where several biomarkers have suggested that a single measurement is not a sufficient biomarker. The observation of increased concentration of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and silver (Ag) in erythrocytes by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) shows a need to look for new approaches to understand the complex synchronistic effects of the cell metabolism. We have used a simplified scheme to follow some of the effects by following a hierarchy of reactions simplified to monitor elements in peripheral blood cells, e.g., erythrocytes. Erythrocytes carry oxygen to cells and carbon dioxide and waste to the lungs and back when passing from different organs including the brain. Erythrocytes also have the capacity to carry metal ions, which may be transferred to other organs, e.g., brain, despite the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and choroid plexus filter. If transfer of Cd, Pb, and Ag is continued too long, the repair systems may not be sufficient, and epigenetic effects on DNA and RNA may begin. Peripheral blood cells, e.g., erythrocytes, may help get earlier individual indications of changes at the cell level by using ICP-MS.
Part of the book: Personalized Medicine, in Relation to Redox State, Diet and Lifestyle
The erythrocyte contributes to the immune system in several ways. It sequesters interferons, interleukins or chemokines and by binding nucleic acid. It binds virus and bacteria and may deliver bacteria to macrophages for phagocytosis. It may also kill bacteria directly with oxygen. For proper function of the erythrocyte, homeostasis of reactive oxygen species, selenium, metal ions and trace elements is important. Erythrocytes display morphological and metabolic changes in diseases like sepsis, and in several genetic diseases. Patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), giving rise to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), show many erythrocyte changes as compared to healthy controls. The erythrocyte responds to hemolysins by purinergic signaling leading to hemolysis or phosphatidylserine exposure on the plasma membrane. Phosphatidylserine marks erythrocytes for clearance by spleen macrophages. Regulated erythrocyte cell death, also called eryptosis, can be induced by oxidative stress, pathogen infection, and certain diseases like sepsis. Erythrocytes may, in the future, contribute more to diagnosis based on research and diagnostic technological development.
Part of the book: Erythrocyte