The effect of imipramine hcl on haemolysis of horse erythrocytes

Tamara Esther Farrant


The mechanism of action of tricyclic antidepressant (TCAs) is not fully understood. The effect of the TCA imipramine on the haemolysis of erythrocytes was investigated, focussing on dosage and incubation time. The method used a drug free red blood cell (RBC) haemolysis assay (Watts & Handy, 2007) comparing experimental drug concentrations ranging from 0.0904 mg/ml – 90.4 mg/ml. Incubation time effects were also investigated, and haemolysis increased with decreasing osmolarity. Compared with the control the percentage haemolysis increased significantly with higher concentrations of imipramine, but was reduced by 0.0904 mg/ml imipramine. Haemolysis also increased with longer incubation time in both experimental and drug-free trials. Findings show that imipramine has a haemolytic effect on RBCs that is both incubation time and concentration dependant. Imipramine has a stabilising effect on RBCs at 0.0904 mg/ml around critical micelle concentration which could involve surface-drug-action and can be explained by Kesting’s liquid membrane hypothesis.

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