Effects of Monomethylhydrazine on Red Blood Cell Metabolism
AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Monomethylhydrazine is used in various Air Force propellant systems. Chronic exposure to low concentrations of this compound results in an anemia characterized by methemoglobinemia, decreased levels of reduced glutathione and Heinz body formation. The study reported here was designed to determine if Heinz body formation was the principal mechanism of the red cell destruction or if MMH also had effects on the glycolytic pathways andor red cell membranes which would contribute to the hemolytic mechanism. Human red cells were exposed in vitro to three levels of MMH for two, four, or six hours. Glucose utilization, lactate production and ATP levels were measured to determine effects on glucose metabolism and osmotic fragilities, red cell potassium concentration, and malonyldialdehyde levels were measured to assess membrane effects.