Human erythrocytes and neuroblastoma cells are in vitro affected by sodium orthovanadate

M. Suwalsky, P. Fierro, F. Villena, L. F. Aguilar, C. P. Sotomayor, M. Jemiola-Rzeminska, K. Strzalka, S. Gul-Hinc, A. Ronowska, A. Szutowicz

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8 Scopus citations


Research on biological influence of vanadium has gained major importance because it exerts potent toxic, mutagenic, and genotoxic effects on a wide variety of biological systems. However, hematological toxicity is one of the less studied effects. The lack of information on this issue prompted us to study the structural effects induced on the human erythrocyte membrane by vanadium (V). Sodium orthovanadate was incubated with intact erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) and molecular models of the erythrocyte membrane. The latter consisted of bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. This report presents evidence in order that orthovanadate interacted with red cell membranes as follows: a) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies it was observed that morphological changes on human erythrocytes were induced; b) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) showed that an increase in the molecular dynamics and/or water content at the shallow depth of the lipids glycerol backbone at concentrations as low as 50 μM was produced; c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that orthovanadate 0.25-1 mM range induced increasing structural perturbation to DMPE; d) somewhat similar effects were observed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) with the exception of the fact that DMPC pretransition was shown to be affected; and e) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) showed that at very low concentrations induced changes in DPH fluorescence anisotropy at 18 °C. Additional experiments were performed in mice cholinergic neuroblastoma SN56 cells; a statistically significant decrease of cell viability was observed on orthovanadate in low or moderate concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2260-2270
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Erythrocyte membrane
  • Lipid bilayer
  • Neuroblastoma cell
  • Orthovanadate


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