The influence of temperature on red cell deformability.


Journal Article

This study was undertaken to examine the influence of temperature on physical properties of red cell membranes. Red cells adhering to cover slips were subjected to fluid shear stress in a rotating disc apparatus for 1 min or for 10 min at temperatures ranging from 2 degrees to 50 degress C. They were fixed while subject to shear stress by addition of glutaraldehyde and then processed for examination and photography by reflected-light microscopy. Cell dimensions were obtained with a computerized planimeter. At shear stresses under 2 dynes/sq cm, cells changed shape from biconcave discs to tear drops, the dimensions of which were influenced very little by temperature or duration of shear stress. Above 2 dynes/sq cm, filamentous processes or "tethers" developed at attachment points of cells to cover slips. Tether length and the percentage of cells possessing tethers increased markedly with increasing temperature and duration of shear stress. At approximately 48 degrees C, a dramatic change occurred over a narrow temperature range such that cells were markedly elongated and irregularly deformed by a shear stress of 1 dyne/sq cm or less. These observations demonstrate that elongation of human red cells subjected to fluid shear stress in a rotating disc system is markedly influenced by temperature as well as by magnitude and duration of shear stress. They also indicate that significant increases in red cell membrane fluidity occur between 2 degrees and 24 degrees-37 degrees C and again between 48 degrees and 50 degrees C.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williamson, JR; Shanahan, MO; Hochmuth, RM

Published Date

  • October 1, 1975

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 611 - 624

PubMed ID

  • 1174695

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1174695

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-0020

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971


  • eng