Erythrocytes from ten patients with severe liver disease displayed low methylene blue‐stimulated hexose monophosphate (HMP) shunt activity and glucose recycling despite elevated total glucose consumption when compared to controls. Heinz body formation was increased and reduced glutathione concentration significantly decreased. After hemolysis, no differences in methylene‐blue stimulated HMP shunt activity or glucose recycling could be demonstrated between patients and controls. The addition of 2‐ and 4‐mM NADP to the hemolysates produced significantly greater HMP shunt activity and glucose recycling in the patients' hemolysates. The addition of NADPH to the incubation mixture produced no significant stimulation of either HMP shunt activity or glucose recycling, unless methylene blue was also added. Omission of NAD or phosphate from the incubation mixture produced no change in shunt metabolism. The absence of supplemental ATP resulted in extremely low shunt metabolism and refractoriness to NADP stimulation in both patients and controls. In the absence of additional magnesium, a reduction of shunt metabolism was noted. These data suggest that the defect in stimulated shunt metabolism in the intact erythrocytes of patients with hepatic disease does not result from an absolute enzyme deficiency, but rather from an unavailability of NADP or other cofactor.
- Heinz bodies
- erythrocyte hexose monophosphate shunt
- erythrocyte metabolism
- liver disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas