Blood donor exposome and impact of common drugs on red blood cell metabolism

the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study III Red Blood Cell-Omics (REDS-III RBC-Omics) Study

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Computational models based on recent maps of the RBC proteome suggest that mature erythrocytes may harbor targets for common drugs. This prediction is relevant to RBC storage in the blood bank, in which the impact of small molecule drugs or other xenometabolites deriving from dietary, iatrogenic, or environmental exposures (“exposome”) may alter erythrocyte energy and redox metabolism and, in so doing, affect red cell storage quality and posttransfusion efficacy. To test this prediction, here we provide a comprehensive characterization of the blood donor exposome, including the detection of common prescription and over-the-counter drugs in blood units donated by 250 healthy volunteers in the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study III Red Blood Cell-Omics (REDS-III RBC-Omics) Study. Based on high-throughput drug screenings of 1366 FDA-approved drugs, we report that approximately 65% of the tested drugs had an impact on erythrocyte metabolism. Machine learning models built using metabolites as predictors were able to accurately predict drugs for several drug classes/targets (bisphosphonates, anticholinergics, calcium channel blockers, adrenergics, proton pump inhibitors, antimetabolites, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and mTOR), suggesting that these drugs have a direct, conserved, and substantial impact on erythrocyte metabolism. As a proof of principle, here we show that the antacid ranitidine - though rarely detected in the blood donor population - has a strong effect on RBC markers of storage quality in vitro. We thus show that supplementation of blood units stored in bags with ranitidine could - through mechanisms involving sphingosine 1-phosphate-dependent modulation of erythrocyte glycolysis and/or direct binding to hemoglobin - improve erythrocyte metabolism and storage quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere146175
JournalJCI insight
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III), which was supported by NHLBI contracts HHSN2682011-00001I, -00002I, -00003I, -00004I, -00005I, -00006I, -00007I, -00008I, and -00009I; as well as funds from the National Institute of General and Medical Sciences (RM1GM131968 to ADA and KCH), the Boettcher Webb-Waring Investigator Award (ADA), and R01HL146442 (ADA), R01HL149714 (ADA), R01HL148151 (ADA and JCZ), R21HL150032 (ADA), and T32 HL007171 (TN) from the NHLBI.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Nemkov et al. This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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