An in vitro study of the protective effect of caffeic acid on human erythrocytes

José R. Colina, Mario Suwalsky, Marcela Manrique-Moreno, Karla Petit, Luis F. Aguilar, Malgorzata Jemiola-Rzeminska, Kazimierz Strzalka

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15 Scopus citations


The interaction and protective effect of caffeic acid (CA) on human erythrocytes (RBC) and molecular models of its membrane were studied. The latter consisted of bilayers built up of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), representative of phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry results indicated that CA induced structural and thermotropic perturbations in multilayers and vesicles of DMPC. Fluorescence spectroscopy analysis showed that CA increased the fluidity of DMPC vesicles and of human erythrocyte ghosts. Scanning electron microscopy observations displayed that CA induced morphological alterations to RBC from their normal discoid form to echinocytes. The assessment of its protective capacity showed that CA inhibits RBC morphological alterations and lysis induced by HClO. These findings imply that CA molecules were located in the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane, and that this preferential location might effectively protect the red cells from damage caused by oxidizing species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Antioxidant
  • Caffeic acid
  • Erythrocyte membrane
  • Lipid bilayer


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