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In vitro effect of aluminium upon erythrocyte membrane properties.

The link between aluminium (Al(III)) and a range of disorders in organisms (plants and animals including human beings) has been stated in diverse studies. As regards as human beings in particular, there are numerous studies on this metal's toxicity in relation to pathological processes. Only few references to the metal's effect upon cell rheological properties can be found. In this study, we present evidence for alterations in the rheological properties of cells as consequence of the Al(III)'s interaction with human red blood cell membrane. Al(III) could damage membrane functions of the red blood cell by favouring lipid peroxidation reactions due to the presence of Fe(II) as an initiator. The metal's effect on lipid bilayer, and probably on the cytoskeleton as well, would constitute the cause for the impaired erythrocyte rheology.

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