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Usage of atomic force microscopy for detection of the damaging effect of CdCl2 on red blood cells membrane

Highlights•Cadmium chloride contributes to strong changes in the morphology of the RBC.•Increasing the concentration of cadmium chloride increases the stiffness of the RBC.•The toxic effects of Cd stimulate the formation of metallothioneins and reactive oxygen species.•Potential targets of CdCl2 in the RBC is the hemoglobin molecule and polyunsaturated fatty acids.AbstractThe possibility of detecting the damaging effect of cadmium salts on red blood cells (RBC) membrane by atomic force microscopy and light microscopy was studied. White wistar rats RBC were incubated with cadmium chloride in concentrations of 1 μg/l, 10 μg/l, 100 μg/l, and 1000 μg/l for the research. A comparison of sample preparation methods proposed by other authors in previous studies is made. The optimal method that does not significantly affect the change in the morphological features of the cell is selected. The quantitative assessment of damaged and destroyed RBC depending on the concentration of cadmium was performed by optical microscopy. The study showed that CdCl2 has a damaging effect on the RBC membrane, which leads to the formation of non-specific cell forms. A comparative assessment was made between the methods of optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy for the suitability of studying the morphological characteristics of abnormal forms of the RBC. It is shown that the method of atomic force microscopy allows registering morphological changes in the RBC that cannot be registered by optical microscopy. It is pointed that CdCl2 has effect on destruction of the RBC and the formation of specific bulges on the RBC membrane. Influence of CdCl2 on the RBC mechanical properties was studied using atomic force microscopy. The possibility of using atomic force microscopy in studies of morphology and mechanical properties of the RBC under toxicity effect of cadmium is shown.

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