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      Intrinsic Stiffening of Red Blood Cells as the Fundamental Cause of Diabetic Nephropathy and Microangiopathy: A New Hypothesis

      Nephron

      S. Karger AG

      Blood viscosity, Haemorheology, Thixotropy

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          Abstract

          It is proposed that stiffened red cells can interfere with normal microvascular and glomerular function. In diabetics intrinsic stiffening of red cells is intensified during poor metabolic control when plasma osmolarity is increased. Hypoxia, acidosis, catecholamines and other changes in red cell environment also increase red cell stiffness. Exercise proteinuria may help to identify individuals with the greatest intrinsic stiffening of red cells which appears to be due to the disposition of spectrin molecules rather than to changes in the lipid bilayer. Stiffened red cells may impede blood flow in the microcirculation and stimulate an autoregulated vasodilation which increases perfusion pressure, enhancing transudation. In the absence of vasodilation, stasis will lead to vascular occlusion and localised ischaemic necrosis. If diabetic microangiopathy is caused by abnormal haemorheology then the possibility exists that the complications of diabetes might be alleviated or prevented by agents which enhance red cell flexibility and improve blood rheology.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEF
          Nephron
          10.1159/issn.1660-8151
          Nephron
          S. Karger AG
          1660-8151
          2235-3186
          1985
          1985
          04 December 2008
          : 39
          : 4
          : 344-351
          Affiliations
          Department of Pathology, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand
          Article
          183403 Nephron 1985;39:344–351
          10.1159/000183403
          3885063
          © 1985 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 8
          Categories
          Original Paper

          Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

          Haemorheology, Blood viscosity, Thixotropy

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