During storage, the activity of the red blood cell (RBC) antioxidant system decreases. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is essential for protection against oxidative stress by producing NADPH. G6PD function of RBC transfusion products is reported to remain stable during storage, but activity was measured in hemolysates and not in individual RBCs. We hypothesized that analysis of G6PD activity in individual RBC identifies storage-dependent changes in G6PD function.STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:
Seven units of stored leukoreduced RBCs, stored in saline-adenine-glucose-mannitol, were sampled every week up to 6 weeks of storage. G6PD activity was determined with the cytofluorometric method and expressed as mean fluorescent intensity (MFI) per RBC.RESULTS:
During storage, G6PD activity decreased significantly. Mean MFI after 3 days of storage was 27.8 ± 8.8 and gradually decreased significantly to 18.0 ± 8.3 after 42 days.CONCLUSION:
G6PD activity decreases during storage of leukoreduced RBCs. Our results may form a new target to improve storage conditions of RBCs and subsequently improve the quality of transfusion products.