Oxidative Stress and Thrombosis during Aging: The Roles of Oxidative Stress in RBCs in Venous Thrombosis.
Mid-life stage adults are at higher risk of developing venous thrombosis (VT)/thromboembolism (VT/E). Aging is characterized by an overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which could evoke a series of physiological changes involved in thrombosis. Here, we focus on the critical role of ROS within the red blood cell (RBC) in initiating venous thrombosis during aging. Growing evidence has shifted our interest in the role of unjustifiably unvalued RBCs in blood coagulation. RBCs can be a major source of oxidative stress during aging, since RBC redox homeostasis is generally compromised due to the discrepancy between prooxidants and antioxidants. As a result, ROS accumulate within the RBC due to the constant endogenous hemoglobin (Hb) autoxidation and NADPH oxidase activation, and the uptake of extracellular ROS released by other cells in the circulation. The elevated RBC ROS level affects the RBC membrane structure and function, causing loss of membrane integrity, and decreased deformability. These changes impair RBC function in hemostasis and thrombosis, favoring a hypercoagulable state through enhanced RBC aggregation, RBC binding to endothelial cells affecting nitric oxide availability, RBC-induced platelet activation consequently modulating their activity, RBC interaction with and activation of coagulation factors, increased RBC phosphatidylserine exposure and release of microvesicles, accelerated aging and hemolysis. Thus, RBC oxidative stress during aging typifies an ultimate mechanism in system failure, which can affect major processes involved in the development of venous thrombosis in a variety of ways. The reevaluated concept of the critical role of RBC ROS in the activation of thrombotic events during aging will help identify potential targets for novel strategies to prevent/reduce the risk for VT/E or VT/E recurrences in mid-life stage adults.
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