About this Research Topic
Red blood cells (RBCs) are highly specialized cells devoted to the transport of respiratory gases. In the blood circulation, the RBCs are subjected to blood flow-induced shear stress and extreme physical constraints, especially when squeezing through narrow capillaries, and the spleen slits. To withstand these conditions, RBCs have unique flow-affecting properties, which define their hemodynamic functionality, namely their potential to affect blood circulation. These include the cells' deformability (which for example enables their squeezing through the spleen slits and recovery of the normal biconcave shape), and their capacity to adhere to the endothelial cells lining the vascular system. Under normal conditions, the RBCs are sufficiently deformable, and their adherence is insignificant. However, in numerous pathological condition (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular, hemoglobinopathies, malaria) and under aging (in-vivo and during storage), the RBC rigidity and adherence are increased and contribute to induce flow disorders.
The nature of RBC membrane, as well as cytoskeleton proteins, their molecular interactions, the lipid composition of this membrane, the ion and water contents, the membrane permeability and the regulation of signaling pathways through specific receptors are different aspects that have been implicated in RBC extraordinary properties.
Cellular factors predominantly control RBC deformability, while RBC/EC adhesion involves RBC cellular properties, plasma constituents, and EC factors.
This Research Topic will gather articles addressing biophysical, biochemical, and physiological aspects of RBC deformability and interaction with EC, their role in blood microcirculation, and implications of flow-affecting properties related to pathological conditions and blood transfusion outcome.
To the authors:
State of the art novel findings pertaining to the role of cellular (as expressed by biophysical and biochemical aspects, ion and volume homeostasis, cell signalling and EC activation) and plasmatic factors in RBC deformability and adherence to EC, and their implications in health and disease (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular, hemoglobinopathies, malaria) will be welcome. These issues can be discussed from an experimental, clinical or numerical point of view.