Abstract: Heinz bodies are intraerythrocytic inclusions of hemichrome formed as a result of hemoglobin (Hb) oxidation. They typically develop in aged red cells. Based on the hypothesis that hemichrome formation is an innate characteristic of physiologically normal Hb molecules, we present an overview of our previous findings regarding the molecular instability of Hb and the formation of hemichrome, as well as recent findings on Heinz body formation within normal human erythrocytes. Human adult Hb (HbO2 A) prepared from healthy donors showed a tendency to produce hemichrome, even at close to physiological temperature and pH. Recent studies found that the number of Heinz bodies formed in red cells increased with increasing temperature when freshly drawn venous blood from healthy donors was subjected to mild heating above 37 °C. These findings suggest that Hb molecules control the removal of non-functional erythrocytes from the circulation via hemichrome formation and subsequent Heinz body clustering. In this review, we discuss the molecular biosensing mechanisms in the spleen, where hemichrome formation and subsequent Heinz body clustering within erythrocytes play a key role in the removal of aged and damaged red cells from the blood circulation.
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Sugawara, Y.; Hayashi, Y.; Shigemasa, Y.; Abe, Y.; Ohgushi, I.; Ueno, E.; Shimamoto, F. Molecular Biosensing Mechanisms in the Spleen for the Removal of Aged and Damaged Red Cells from the Blood Circulation. Sensors 2010, 10, 7099-7121.
Sugawara Y, Hayashi Y, Shigemasa Y, Abe Y, Ohgushi I, Ueno E, Shimamoto F. Molecular Biosensing Mechanisms in the Spleen for the Removal of Aged and Damaged Red Cells from the Blood Circulation. Sensors. 2010; 10(8):7099-7121.
Sugawara, Yoshiaki; Hayashi, Yuko; Shigemasa, Yuki; Abe, Yoko; Ohgushi, Ikumi; Ueno, Eriko; Shimamoto, Fumio. 2010. "Molecular Biosensing Mechanisms in the Spleen for the Removal of Aged and Damaged Red Cells from the Blood Circulation." Sensors 10, no. 8: 7099-7121.