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The Effect of Endogenous and Synthetic Estrogens on Whole Blood Clot Formation and Erythrocyte Structure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2017

Albe C. Swanepoel*
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Odette Emmerson
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Etheresia Pretorius
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
*Corresponding author.
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As erythrocyte and estrogens interact so closely and erythrocytes can indicate the healthiness of an individual, it is essential to investigate the effects of natural estrogens as well as synthetic estrogens on these cells. Whole blood samples were used for thromboelastography (TEG), light microscopy (LM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation. Viscoelastic investigation with TEG revealed that estrogens affected the rate of clot formation without any significant effect on the strength or stability of the clot. Axial ratio analysis with LM showed a statistically significant increase in number of erythrocytes with decreased roundness. Morphological analysis with SEM confirmed the change in erythrocyte shape and revealed both ultrastructural membrane changes and erythrocyte interactions. As erythrocyte shape and membrane flexibility correlates to physiological functioning of these cells in circulation, these changes, indicative of possible eryptosis brought on by estrogens, when experienced by individuals with an underlying inflammatory or hematological illness, could impair erythrocyte functioning and even result in obstructions in circulation. In conclusion, we suggest that whole blood analysis with viscoelastic and morphological techniques could be used as assessment of the hematological healthiness of individuals using estrogens.

Biological Science Applications
© Microscopy Society of America 2017 

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