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Estimation of intracellular magnesium concentrations and membrane atpase activities in the red blood cells of normal and sickle cell subjects in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.

Authors:Uchechukwu C. Ogbodo, John K. Emeh, Emeka E. Neboh , Sunday Ocheni ,Ignatius C. Maduka , Ebele J. Ikekpeazu
Int J Biol Med Res. 2010; 1(4): 149-152  |  PDF File


Aim: Low concentrations of magnesium (Mg2+) in red blood cells (RBC) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dehydration in RBCs known to be a precipitating factor in sickle cell crisis. The present study is aimed at estimating the activities of ATPases localized on the red cell membrane, protein and intracellular red blood cell Mg2+ concentrations of normal and sickle cell patients. Methods: Intracellular magnesium (Mg2+), protein and membrane ATPases were estimated in a total of 60 subjects (30 males and 30 females) in Enugu metropolis, aged between 18 and 40 years. Twenty (20) of them (10 males and 10 females) were patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) attending the Sickle Cell Clinic at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria whereas 40 of them were volunteers (20 males and 20 females) with homozygous (AA) and heterozygous (AS) haemoglobin phenotypes. Results: A significant low mean value (P<0.05) was noted for the intracellular RBC Mg2+ concentration in the SCD subjects relative to the AA and AS subject groups, where high levels were recorded. The mean value of Ca2+-ATPase in the SCD group of patients was 0.2499 ± 0.02 , which indicated a high specific activity (P<0.05) relative to the AA and AS groups, whereas low enzyme activities were observed for the Mg2+ and Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPases compared to those of the control groups. Conclusion: Mg2+-ATPase and Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase activities were generally decreased whereas Ca2+-ATPase activity increased in SCD patients. There were significantly low levels of RBC Mg2+ in SCD patients compared to the controls.