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. 2019 Jun;178:91-98.
doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2019.04.005. Epub 2019 Apr 7.

Red Blood Cell Membrane Cholesterol in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

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Red Blood Cell Membrane Cholesterol in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

J Massimo Nunes et al. Thromb Res. .

Abstract

Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affects an estimate of 450 million individuals. Hence, there remains an urgent need to explore the use of novel biomarkers with the aim of preventing and managing cardiovascular risk among these individuals. Hallmarks of this condition are lipid and glucose dyshomeostasis which are accompanied by a prothrombotic phenotype; these pose as eminent links between T2DM and cardiovascular disease. Diabetic dyslipidemia affects not only plasma lipid profiles but extends further into the haematological system, modulating the cholesterol concentration of erythrocyte membranes. Elevations in this biomarker implicate cell biophysics and contribute to an increased cardiovascular risk. Here we investigate the variation of membrane cholesterol levels in RBCs, as well as the degree of hypercoagubility between healthy and type II diabetic subjects. Furthermore, we provide an adapted method to assess erythrocyte membrane cholesterol levels using a quantitative and qualitative approach. In conclusion, individuals with type II diabetes exhibit elevated erythrocyte membrane cholesterol levels which may act as a prominent link between the diabetic state and subsequent cardiovascular complications. Ultimately, this erythrocyte parameter exhibits applicative biomarker potential and may provide clinical utility in terms of disease monitoring and prognostics.

Keywords: Erythrocytes; Hypercoagulability; Membrane cholesterol; Type 2 diabetes.

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