Red cell filterability determined using the cell transit time analyzer (CTTA): effects of ATP depletion and changes in calcium concentration

Marc Rendell, Thinh Luu, Edward Quinlan, Sandy Knox, Matthew Fox, Steven Kelly, Kennis Kahler

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26 Scopus citations


Cell transit time analysis (CTTA) is a new filtrometric technique for assessing red blood cell deformability by measuring the conductivity change caused by passage of erythrocytes through a polycarbonate filter. Most reported studies to date using CTTA have focused on the transit time (TT), the duration of passage of an individual red cell through a micropore. Bulk flow rate has not been previously measured via CTTA. The use of new enzyme based cleaning solutions make it possible to reduce clogging in micropore filters. Therefore, valid measures of the number of red cell transits per unit time (counts/s: C/S) can now be obtained. We evaluated both parameters. TT and C/S, as indicators of red cell filterability. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of metabolic changes shown by alternative techniques to affect red cell deformability. The two best established factors are changes in intracellular [ATP] and [Ca2+]. ATP depletion produces a very small increase in TT but a very marked decrease in C/S. In contrast, the addition of low concentrations of calcium produces an increase in TT with minimal decrease in C/S. The effects of calcium appear to be complex. The substantial changes in intracellular calcium induced by the ionophore A23187 result in a curvilinear pattern of increase in transit times and reduction in counts per s. Lanthanum, which inhibits egress of intracellular calcium, causes an increase in TT with a drop in C/S. We conclude that CTTA demonstrates the same changes in red cell deformability measurable by alternative filtrometric techniques; however, CTTA furnishes two separate and independent parameters which may be used to evaluate red cell deformability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 3 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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