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Erythrocyte (Red Blood Cell, RBC) Markers
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Erythrocyte (Red Blood Cell, RBC) Markers

Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate body's principal means of delivering oxygen from the lungs or gills to body tissues via the blood. Red blood cells are also known as RBCs or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for "red" and kytos for "hollow", with cyte nowadays translated as "cell"). A schistocyte is a red blood cell undergoing fragmentation, or a fragmented part of a red blood cell. Immature erythrocytes, called reticulocytes, normally account for 1-2 percent of red cells in the blood.


  • an enzymatic marker of human red blood cell aging. PMID: 9698047

AMP deaminase

  • a cell-age marker in transient erythroblastopenia of childhood and its role in the adenylate economy of erythrocytes. PMID: 2804355

Band 3

  • a marker of erythrocyte changes in pregnancy. PMID: 12406007
  • cytoplasmic domain of erythrocyte band 3 (cdb3) serves as a center of membrane organization in the erythrocytes by its interaction with multiple proteins including ankyrin, protein 4.1, protein 4.2, hemoglobin, and several glycolytic enzymes. PMID: 15003247
  • play an important role in human erythrocyte aging. PMID: 9972300


  • is restricted to erythrocytes and is most abundant in definitive erythrocytes. PMID: 3209071


  • Normal human erythrocytes express CD36, an adhesion molecule of monocytes, platelets, and endothelial cells. PMID: 1382721
  • expressed by human endothelial cells is a receptor for the adhesion of erythrocytes infected with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PMID: 1707534
  • both CD36 and TSP can bind independently to the PRBC surface and that the Plasmodium falciparum-infected RBCs (PRBC) receptor(s) for CD36 and TSP are localized specifically to the electron-dense knob protrusions of the PRBC surface. PMID: 1380530
  • only expressed by immature erythroid cells. PMID: 10791882


CD71 (transferrin receptor)

Chromium 51

  • Validity of chromium-51 labelling of human erythrocytes as an assay for their survival after photodynamic therapy in vitro for blood sterilization. PMID: 8099111

dHbF (derivated fetal haemoglobin)

  • a marker for red cell age in the human fetus reflecting stimulated or impaired red blood cell production. PMID: 11494284

Erythrocyte Creatine

  • a sensitive marker of erythrocyte age, and can be used to detect slight and continuous hemolysis, also a marker of excessive erythrocyte destruction due to hypersplenism in patients with liver cirrhosis. PMID: 11522277


Glycophorin A (GPA)

  • has an essential role in the expression of O-linked antigens on the erythrocyte membrane protein. PMID: 12940824
  • erythrocyte membrane protein. PMID: 9523238
  • closely associated in the erythrocyte membrane. PMID: 2383660

Glycophorin B

  • a receptor for ETH or at least an associated molecule of the receptor for ETH on human erythrocytes. PMID: 10496913


  • a major determinant of sickle erythrocyte rigidity. PMID: 3663941

MBHb (membrane-bound hemoglobin)

  • a marker of oxidative injury in adult and neonatal red blood cells. PMID: 1931154

Rh Polypeptides and Rh Glycoprotein

  • Expressed in the human erythrocyte membrane. PMID: 8663003
  • Expressed in dilauroylphosphatidylcholine-induced erythrocyte vesicles. PMID: 7718602
  • the C termini of the Rh polypeptides are located toward the cytoplasmic face of the erythrocyte membrane. PMID: 1634548
  • Rh polypeptides have been isolated from erythrocytes of diverse species and are thought to be fundamental components of all mammalian erythrocyte membranes. PMID: 2127333

N-Acetyl-9-O-Acetylneuraminic Acid

  • in addition to serving as a receptor determinant for influenza C virus, represents a developmental marker on chicken erythrocytes. PMID: 3497642


  • a CD36 recognition protein on Plasmodium falciparum malaria-infected erythrocytes identified by anti-idiotype antibodies. PMID: 1707534


Thrombospondin (TSP)

  • both CD36 and TSP can bind independently to the PRBC surface and that the Plasmodium falciparum-infected RBCs (PRBC) receptor(s) for CD36 and TSP are localized specifically to the electron-dense knob protrusions of the PRBC surface. PMID: 1380530

Transferrin Receptor

Vitamin B12 (Vit B12)

  • may, nevertheless, be a suitable marker for short-term human studies on carrier erythrocyte splanchnic clearance. PMID: 4048655


  • expressed on sickle erythrocytes. PMID: 10477680
  • VLA-4 adhesion molecule (alpha4beta1) present on erythrocytes bound to vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) of the endothelium. PMID: 15258342
  • only expressed by immature erythroid cells. PMID: 10791882
  • VLA-4-VCAM-1 interaction plays a crucial role in the formation of erythroblastic islands. PMID: 7528776

Other Erythrocyte Markers

  • O-acetylated sialic acid as a distinct marker for differentiation between several leukemia erythrocytes. PMID: 7854333
  • Insulin binding is a specific marker of fetal erythrocytes in ruminants. PMID: 6345497
  • cheek cell fatty acids may serve as a marker of the essential fatty acid content, especially of DHA and arachidonic acid, in plasma, red blood cells, and the diet. PMID: 10617942

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