Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) are an investigational replacement for blood transfusions and are known to cause oxidative damage to tissues. To investigate the correlation between their oxygen binding properties and these detrimental effects, we investigated two PEGylated HBOCs endowed with different oxygen binding properties - but otherwise chemically identical - in a Guinea pig transfusion model. Plasma samples were analyzed for biochemical markers of inflammation, tissue damage and organ dysfunction; proteins and lipids of heart and kidney extracts were analyzed for markers of oxidative damage. Overall, both HBOCs produced higher oxidative stress in comparison to an auto-transfusion control group. Particularly, tissue 4-hydroxynonenal adducts, tissue malondialdehyde adducts and plasma 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine exhibited significantly higher levels in comparison with the control group. For malondialdehyde adducts, a higher level in the renal tissue was observed for animals treated with the high-affinity HBOC, hinting at a correlation between the HBOCs oxygen binding properties and the oxidative stress they produce. Moreover, we found that the high-affinity HBOC produced greater tissue oxygenation in comparison with the low affinity one, possibly correlating with the higher oxidative stress it induced.
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