Circulation kinetics and organ distribution of Hb-vesicles developed as a red blood cell substitute

Keitaro Sou, Robert Klipper, Beth Goins, Eishun Tsuchida*, William T. Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Phospholipid vesicles encapsulating concentrated human hemoglobin (Hb-vesicles, HbV), also known as liposomes, have a membrane structure similar to that of red blood cells (RBCs). These vesicles circulate in the bloodstream as an oxygen carrier, and their circulatory half-life times (t1/2) and biodistribution are fundamental characteristics required for representation of their efficacy and safety as a RBC substitute. Herein, we report the pharmacokinetics of HbV and empty vesicles (EV) that do not contain Hb, in rats and rabbits to evaluate the potential of HbV as a RBC substitute. The samples were labeled with technetium-99m and then intravenously infused into animals at 14 ml/kg to measure the kinetics of HbV elimination from blood and distribution to the organs. The t1/2 values were 34.8 and 62.6 h for HbV and 29.3 and 57.3 h for EV in rats and rabbits, respectively. At 48 h after infusion, the liver, bone marrow, and spleen of both rats and rabbits had significant concentrations of HbV and EV, and the percentages of the infused dose in these three organs were closely correlated to the circulatory half-life times in elimination phase (t1/2β). Furthermore, the milligrams of HbV per gram of tissue correlated well between rats and rabbits, suggesting that the balance between organ weight and body weight is a fundamental factor determining the pharmacokinetics of HbV. This factor could be used to estimate the biodistribution and the circulation time of HbV in humans, which is estimated to be equal to that in rabbit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-709
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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