Oxidation and erythrocyte senescence

Curr Opin Hematol. 2000 Mar;7(2):113-6. doi: 10.1097/00062752-200003000-00007.


Direct macrophage recognition of an externalized phosphatidylserine signal on senescent erythrocytes is a process of erythrophagocytic clearance that is in line with the general clearance process of all other circulating cells that become apoptotic. Advances in deciphering this process suggest that oxidation of the erythrocyte's hemoglobin, the salient target of the free radicals encountered in the circulatory environment, may drive subsequent steps. The progressive accumulation of oxidized hemoglobin covalently bound to the membrane skeleton not only disrupts membrane organization but also threatens eventual phospholipid oxidation via a calcium-promoted quasi-lipoxygenase activity. The emergence on the cell surface of a threshold concentration of oxidized phospholipids, principally phosphatidylserine, signals recognition by the CD36 macrophage receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism
  • Erythrocyte Aging / physiology*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • CD36 Antigens
  • Hemoglobins
  • Phosphatidylserines