The aging process of human neonatal erythrocytes

Lisa M. Matovcik, Daniel Chiu, Bertram Lubin, William C. Mentzer, Peter A. Lane, Narla Mohandas, Stanley L. Schrier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

38 Scopus citations


The red blood cell population of the human newborn is more heterogeneous than that of adults. To characterize this heterogeneity, red cells were separated on Stractan gradients into populations according to their density and, therefore, generally according to their age. Lipid content, phospholipid asymmetry, osmotic fragility, and deformability were measured. With increasing density, osmotic resistance and deformability decreased to a greater extent in the neonatal than the adult red cell. There was a marked loss of surface area throughout the life span of the neonatal red cell which was not accompanied by a parallel loss of membrane lipid. This apparent discrepancy could be explained at least in part by internalization of membrane lipid as a result of endocytosis, a process shown to be present in even the densest neonatal red cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1096
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 11 1986
Externally publishedYes


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