Hemolysis of human red blood cells by freezing and thawing in solutions containing sucrose: relationship with posthypertonic hemolysis and solute movements

Woolgar, A.E.

Cryobiology 11(1): 44-51

1974


ISSN/ISBN: 0011-2240
PMID: 4455461
DOI: 10.1016/0011-2240(74)90037-6
Accession: 043244046

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Abstract
Human red blood cells were frozen at temperatures down to −9 °C in solutions containing sucrose, and the hemolysis on thawing was measured. This was compared with the hemolysis caused by exposing the cells to high concentrations of sucrose and then resuspending them in more dilute solutions at 4 °C. The effects of the hypertonic solutions of sucrose on potassium, sodium, and sucrose movements were also investigated. It was found that sucrose does not prevent damage to the cells by very hypertonic solutions (whether during freezing and thawing or at 4 °C) but it does reduce hemolysis of cells previously exposed to these solutions if present in the resuspension (or thawing) solution. Evidence is presented that the damaging effects of the hypertonic solutions of sucrose occurring during freezing are associated with changes in cell membrane permeability but that posthypertonic hemolysis is not primarily associated with a "loading" of the cells with extracellular solutes in the hypertonic phase. It is concluded that sucrose may reduce hemolysis of red blood cells by slow freezing and thawing by reducing colloid osmotic swelling of cells with abnormally permeable membranes.