The study of isotopic enrichment of water in human plasma and erythrocyte

FASEB J. 2020 Sep;34(9):13049-13062. doi: 10.1096/fj.202000388RR. Epub 2020 Aug 10.


Life does not sustain without water. For water, there is a natural abundance of stable isotope hydrogen and oxygen. Water molecules get across cell membranes through a plasma membrane protein, named aquaporin. Moreover, the kidney is the main organ to maintain water homeostasis. Here, we study the stable isotopic ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in human blood plasma and erythrocyte corresponding to kidney functions. We extract waters from human plasma and erythrocyte, collected from 110 participants, including 51 clinically stable outpatients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and 59 subjects with normal renal function (NRF). We observed that (i) both extracellular (blood plasma) and intracellular (erythrocyte) biology waters are isotopic differences between the ESRD and NRF participants, (ii) the natural abundance of isotopic waters of ESRD is hypo-isotopic, and (iii) the isotopic enrichment of water between erythrocyte and blood plasma are distinct. In addition, we introduce an empirical formula using entropy transformation to describe isotopic water enrichment for biology. Accordingly, the natural abundance of stable isotope water of blood plasma and erythrocyte may be possibly put in practice a new sign for assessments of kidney dysfunctions.

Keywords: blood plasma; end-stage renal disease; erythrocyte; stable isotope hydrogen and oxygen; water.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult


  • Hydrogen
  • Oxygen