The d- and l-isomers of glyceraldehyde are equally effective in the inhibition of SS erythrocyte sickling in vitro. The following compounds at a concentration of 20 mM were ineffective in inhibiting sickling: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, d-erythrose, d-ribose, d-fructose, d-glucose, d-sucrose, dihydroxyacetone, and methylglyoxal. Glyceraldehyde does not reverse the sickling of cells in the deoxy state. The properties of purified hemoglobin after treatment with glyceraldehyde and of the hemoglobin isolated from treated cells are very similar; these results suggest that glyceraldehyde itself is the reactive species within the erythrocyte. Erythrocyte glutathione is decreased by treatment in vitro with the aldehyde.
Alan M. Nigen, James M. Manning