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Erythrocyte degradation, metabolism, secretion, and communication with immune cells in the blood during sepsis: A review


1 Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan
2 School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien; Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan
3 Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
4 Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan
5 Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei; School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Wen-Lin Su,
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, 289, Jianguo Road, Xindian District, New Taipei
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_58_21

Sepsis is a health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It was assumed that erythrocytes were affected by sepsis. However, in recent years, a number of studies have shown that erythrocytes affect sepsis as well. When a pathogen invades the human body, it infects the blood and organs, causing infection and sepsis-related symptoms. Pathogens change the internal environment, increasing the levels of reactive oxygen species, influencing erythrocyte morphology, and causing erythrocyte death, i.e., eryptosis. Characteristics of eryptosis include cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and surface exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS). Eryptotic erythrocytes increase immune cell proliferation, and through PS, attract macrophages that remove the infected erythrocytes. Erythrocyte-degraded hemoglobin derivatives and heme deteriorate infection; however, they could also be metabolized to a series of derivatives. The result that erythrocytes play an anti-infection role during sepsis provides new perspectives for treatment. This review focuses on erythrocytes during pathogenic infection and sepsis.


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