Band 3 Profile as a Marker of Erythrocyte Changes in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

Elísio Costa*, 1, 2, 3, Susana Rocha2, 3, Petronila Rocha-Pereira3, 4, Elisabeth Castro2, 3, Vasco Miranda5, Maria do Sameiro Faria5, Alfredo Loureiro6, Alexandre Quintanilha3, 7, Luís Belo2, 3, Alice Santos-Silva2, 3
1 Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
2 Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto
3 Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular da Universidade do Porto (IBMC)
4 Centro Investigacão Ciências Saúde, Universidade Beira Interior, Covilhã
5 FMC, Dinefro - Diálises e Nefrologia, SA
6 Uninefro – Sociedade Prestadora de Cuidados Médicos e de Diálise, SA and
7 Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar da Universidade do Porto (ICBAS)

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© 2008 Costaet al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Serviço de Bioquímica, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Aníbal Cunha, 164, 4099-030 Porto, Portugal; E-mail:


Our aim was to study changes in red blood cell (RBC) membrane band 3 profile, as a cumulative marker of RBC changes, in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients under haemodialysis and recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) therapy and its linkage with resistance to this therapy.

We studied 63 CKD patients, 32 responders and 31 non-responders to rhEPO therapy, and 26 healthy individuals. We evaluated the band 3 profile [% of band 3 monomer, high molecular weight aggregates (HMWAg), and proteolytic fragments (Pfrag)], membrane-bound haemoglobin (MBH), haematological data, total serum bilirubin, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase activities, total antioxidant status (TAS) and plasma lipid peroxidation (TBA). Compared to controls, band 3 profile presented by CKD patients showed statistically significant lower HMWAg and Pfrag values and a significant higher value in band 3 monomer. GPx, TBA and TAS activities, and TBA/TAS ratio were also significantly higher in CKD patients. Comparing responders to non-responders CKD patients, significantly lower value in Pfrag and a trend for a higher value in MBH were found in non-responders.

Our data suggest that CKD patients present younger RBC population, which could be related to the rhEPO therapy. The adverse plasma environment associated to CKD patients under hemodialysis imposes changes in band 3 profile, particularly in non-responders, suggesting that resistance to rhEPO therapy in CKD patients seems to be associated to an increase in RBC damage.

Keywords: Band 3 Protein, Membrane Bound Haemoglobin, Oxidative Stress, RBC, Haemodialysis, Resitance to RhEPO Therapy.