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Indian Journal of Pharmacology 1993; 25: 173 LETTER TO THE EDITOR


(Accepted for publication: April 06, 1993)

The erythrocyte osmotic fragility tests has been used Figure 1. Osmotic fragility profile of erythrocytes. Each point is
the mean of at least four experiments.
as a measure of red cell tensile strength and is
related to cellular deformability which is a significant
aspect of red cell function.’ Indomethacin, a non- 100 -
steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, was found to in-
duce slight membrane changes in erythrocytes.²
80 -
We studied the effect of indomethacin on erythrocyte
osmotic fragility to ascertain its membrane stabilizing
effect. & 60-
Young albino rats (Charles foster) weighing 200- .u,
2509 were maintained on commercial rat diet (Lip- E
ton Co., India) and water, They were divided into z
e 40 - o Control

two groups. Animals in group I served as control

and group II were administered indomethacin 0.4166
I I A lndomethacin treated

mg/kg, p.o., bd x 5 days. After 5 days of drug treat-

ment blood was collected in heparin (10 IU/ml) from 01
the caudal vein. The osmotic fragility determinations 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
were done by the method of Dacie and Lewis.³ The
NaCl concentration of 50% hemolysis was taken Sodium chloride (%)
as a measure of mean erythrocyte fragility (MEF).
membranes and organelles, any effect of a drug on
In control rats, the osmotic fragility (O.F.) profile is the osmotic hemolysis can be interpreted as an
almost a sigmoidal curve whereas in indomethacin effect on the cell membrane. The stabilizing effect
treated animals the O.F. profile is shifted to the left of indomethacin on erythrocyte membrane may be
which is due to decreased osmotic fragility showing due to the less production of PGEl which has been
membrane stabilization (Figure 1). The MEF is sig- shown to cause phospholipids disruption, an impor-
nificantly (P < 0.01) decreased in indomethacin tant component of red cell membranes and as-
treated rats. The MEF of control and indomethacin sociated structural changes in the red cell membrane
treated rats are 0.740 ± 0.008 and 0.711 ± 0.002% after indomethacin treatment.
sodium chloride respectively.
lndomethacin is one of the most potent inhibitors
of the prostaglandin forming cyclooxygenase which IMTIAZ AHMAD* AND MOHAMMAD SUHAIL
reduces the production and tissue concentration of Department of Biochemistry,
prostaglandin4 Prostaglandin Et (PGEl) was found University of Allahabad,
to act on erythrocytes in such a way that it causes Allahabad - 211 002, U.P.
membrane phospholipids disruption5 It has earlier * Present Address: Institute of Social Health Welfare Rural
been reported that ingestion of indomethacin in- Development and Educational Society, ISWRDES (India),
duces slight membrane changes in erythrocytes.² 80-A, Rasoolpur, Syedwara,
Allahabad - 211 003, U.P.
Since erythrocytes are free from intracellular

U.S. Department of the Army TM8-227-4. Laboratory proce- Longman, 1984;152-6.
dures in clinical hematology. Washington D.C., U.S. Govt.
Printing Office, 1963, 427-30. 4. Goodman LS, Gilman A. The pharmacological basis of
therapeutics. 7th eds. New York: McMillan Publishing Co.
Mazorow DL, Hang A, Bull R, McGroarty EJ. Effect of aspirin, Inc., 1985:705.
indomethacin and sodium salicylate on human erythrocyte
membranes as detected with electron spin resonance 5. Taniguchi M, Alkawa M, Sakagami T Effect of prostaglandin
spectroscopy. Throm Res 1985;40:779-92. EI and polyphloretin phosphate on hemolysis of human
eryrhrocytes. J Biochem 1982;91:1173-9.
Dacie JV, Lewis S.M. Practical hematology. Orient