Background: Recent advances in red blood cell metabolomics have paved the way for further improvements of storage solutions.
Materials and methods: In the present study, we exploited a validated high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analytical workflow to determine the effects of vitamin C and N-acetylcysteine supplementation (anti-oxidants) on the metabolome of erythrocytes stored in citrate-phosphate-dextrose saline-adenine-glucose-mannitol medium under blood bank conditions.
Results: We observed decreased energy metabolism fluxes (glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway). A tentative explanation of this phenomenon could be related to the observed depression of the uptake of glucose, since glucose and ascorbate are known to compete for the same transporter. Anti-oxidant supplementation was effective in modulating the redox poise, through the promotion of glutathione homeostasis, which resulted in decreased haemolysis and less accumulation of malondialdehyde and oxidation by-products (including oxidized glutathione and prostaglandins).
Discussion: Anti-oxidants improved storage quality by coping with oxidative stress at the expense of glycolytic metabolism, although reservoirs of high energy phosphate compounds were preserved by reduced cyclic AMP-mediated release of ATP.