Application of an appropriate amount of urea or urea with drug into a suspension of human erythrocytes in microcapillaries incubated with or without crenating or cup-forming drug in 5mM Hepes buffered saline, pH 7.4, at room temperature (25oC), resulted in the incorporation of urea into the membrane and induction of cell shape change of echinocytic type and fragmented the cells by externalization without causing haemolysis. The time to completion of urea induced cell fragmentation by externalization phenomenon was not influenced by drug concentration. It is suggested that urea was not an alternative to heat for the study of drug membrane interaction when cytoskekeleton are reduced. Based on these results, the effects of exposure of human erythrocytes to urea environment are discussed.
Keywords: urea- therapeutic use; fertilizer production environment, human erythrocytes, Running title: Erythrocyte shape change induced by urea.
(Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences: 2003 9(2): 255-258)