The effects of the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on red blood cells (RBCs) have not been thoroughly investigated, although it is known that the ingestion of 75 g of glucose during OGTT results in a systemic state of inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of OGTT on oxidative stress and L-arginine/Nitric Oxide (L-Arg/NO) metabolic pathway in RBCs obtained from patients with prediabetes. Blood samples were collected from all participants before (T0) and at 10 (T1), 20 (T2), 30 (T3), 60 (T4), 90 (T5), 120 (T6), 150 (T7), and 180 (T8) minutes after glucose loading. Results showed a significant increase in oxidative stress status characterized by a rise in the GSSG/GSH ratio at T4 and T6 that increased in parallel with a reduction of NO production in RBCs. In addition, in this time frame, increased exposure of phosphatidylserine on RBCs membrane was observed. These metabolic modifications were rescued at T8, together with an increase in activated RBC NO synthase expression. These findings provide a possible explanation of the phenomena occurring after glucose loading and suggest that, even in the early stages of diabetes, it may be important to avoid acute variations in glycemia in order to prevent diabetic complications.
Reference: Oxidative Stress and Arginine/Nitric Oxide Pathway in Red Blood Cells Derived from Patients with Prediabetes. Eligini S, Porro B, Werba JP, Capra N, Genovese S, Greco A, Cavalca V, Banfi C. Biomedicines. 2022 Jun 14;10(6):1407.