The transport of deferiprone (L1) in normal (N), sickle (S) and thalassaemic (T) red blood cells (RBC) was determined by incubation with 14C-L1 at 37°C. Following incubation with 0.5 mM 14C-L1 for 4h, the intracellular concentration of L1 in T RBC was 3 times higher than was found extracellularly. In contrast, no concentration gradient across N and S RBC membranes was detected. Efflux studies showed that T RBC released only 17 ± 2% of 14C-L1 into the extracellular space. We hypothesize that L1 accumulation in T RBC results from their high content of chelatable iron and formation of large, hydrophilic L1-Fe(III) complexes trapped within the cytosol.
- Sickle cell disease