Accelerated suicidal erythrocyte death in Klotho-deficient mice

Daniela S. Kempe, Teresa F. Ackermann, Stephanie S. Fischer, Saisudha Koka, Krishna M. Boini, Hasan Mahmud, Michael Föller, Kevin P. Rosenblatt, Makoto Kuro-O, Florian Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Klotho, a membrane protein mainly expressed in parathyroid glands, kidney, and choroid plexus, counteracts aging and increases the life span. Accordingly, life span is significantly shorter in Klotho-deficient mice (klotho -/- ) than in their wild-type littermates (klotho +/+ ). The pleotropic effects of Klotho include inhibition of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) formation. Vitamin D-deficient diet reverses the shortening of life span in klotho -/- mice. In a variety of cells, 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulates Ca2+ entry. In erythrocytes, increased Ca2+ entry stimulates suicidal erythrocyte death, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and phosphatidylserine exposure at the erythrocyte surface. The present study explored the putative impact of Klotho on eryptosis. According to Fluo3 fluorescence, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration was significantly larger in klotho -/- erythrocytes as compared to klotho +/+ erythrocytes. According to annexin V-binding, phosphatidylserine exposure was significantly enhanced, and according to forward scatter, cell volume significantly decreased in klotho -/- erythrocytes as compared to klotho +/+ erythrocytes. Energy depletion (13 h glucose depletion) and oxidative stress (35 min 1 mM tert-butyl-hydroxyl-peroxide [tert-BOOH]) increased phosphatidylserine exposure to values again significantly larger in klotho -/- erythrocytes as compared to klotho +/+ erythrocytes. Reticulocyte number was significantly increased in klotho -/- mice, pointing to enhanced erythrocyte turnover. Vitamin D-deficient diet reversed the enhanced Ca2+ entry and annexin V-binding of klotho -/- erythrocytes. The present observations reveal a novel function of Klotho, i.e., the at least partially vitamin D-dependent regulation of cytosolic Ca2+ activity in and suicidal death of erythrocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-512
Number of pages10
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Annexin
  • Calcium
  • Cell volume
  • Eryptosis
  • Klotho
  • Phosphatidylserine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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