Red Cell Laboratory

Introduction

Within the Red Cell Laboratory we are studying the biology of red blood cells (RBC) with a particular focus on their use in transfusion medicine. Historically, the laboratory was primarily performing translational research on RBC, concentrating on the optimization of storage conditions for RBC transfusion products1-3. One of the biggest issues within the transfusion field is the rapid loss of 10-25% of the donor RBC within 24 hrs after transfusion, which is believed to be due to phagocytosis by red pulp macrophages in the spleen. The molecular recognition of aged and/or damaged RBC by red pulp macrophages is still unknown, and we are devoting much of our attention to this topic. In addition, we are investigating the recovery of donor RBC in different patient cohorts after transfusion, to determine the influence of storage time and the disease state of the recipient on recovery and phenotype of the donor RBC. More recently, we have become interested in the role of RBC in host defense. RBC have been described to be able to bind pathogens and immune complexes through complement, and deliver these to phagocytes of the liver and the spleen, a process that is termed immune adherence clearance. The mechanism of transfer of the pathogen from the RBC to the macrophage is actively investigated in our group.

Medical needs:

Anemia

Funding:

  • PPOC (internal funding in competition), various projects
  • PPOP (internal funding in competition)
  • LSBR (Landsteiner Foundation for Blood transfusion Research)
  • MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE INNOVATIVE TRAINING NETWORKS

Our research