Effects of Monomethylhydrazine on Human Red Blood Cells
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The effects of monomethylhydrazine on red blood cells in vitro were studied. These effects are characteristic of oxidant damage and included methemoglobin formation, Heinz body production, and a decreased level of reduced glutathione. Cell morphology was examined by light microscopy and the cells showed a distorted appearance with a loss of the biconcave shape after 2 hours exposure. There was no change in cell osmotic fragility. MMH did not exhibit any effect on various protective enzyme systems involved in maintaining the redox equilibrium in the cell. It appears the hemolytic effect of MMH observed in vivo is caused either by a direct action of this oxidant on cell membrane which is not obvious on fixed morphological observation or by the effect of Heinz bodies on cellular integrity leading to a decreased cellular deformability and premature removal of the injured cells from the circulation by the spleen, or both.