Fluorescence Analysis of Carrier Rat and Human Erythrocytes Loaded With FITC-Dextran

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Rat and human erythrocytes are inherently different with respect to slow dialysis encapsulation used in preparing carrier erythrocytes. The incorporation process, commonly measured with radioactive tracers, is always larger in human erythrocytes, mainly because the rat carrier cells are more fragile. When FITC-Dextran (Dx) is used in the encapsulation process, and loaded rat and human RBCs are studied by fluorescence intensity, some additional events are evident. Not all cells of each population appear with a fluorescence signal, and not all show similar fluorescence intensity. Human RBCs show a higher percentage of marked cells and a higher fluorescence intensity than rat RBCs. Two populations, of high and low fluorescence, appear in FITC-Dx loaded rat erythrocytes. The human loaded RBCs show a similar peak distribution together with another peak in the middle scale of fluorescence. Therefore, a heterogeneity in the cell population as a result of the encapsulation process is manifested for both species. The fractionation of RBCs, loaded with either FITC-Dx or 125I-CA, by centrifugation on Ficoll-Paque reveals that the low density cells have much more substance incorporation than the counterpart cell subpopulation in the pellet. Therefore, the cell modifications produced by the encapsulation process are independent of the substance being incorporated. On the other hand, FITC-Dx, but not 125I-CA, shows a certain degree of association to RBCs membranes, especially in humans. © 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.



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