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Red cell glucose utilization was investigated in term, premature, and intrauterine-growth retarded infants, and the results were compared to red cell glucose utilization by separate populations of mixed-age young and old red cells from adults. With the use of adult young red cells as a control, no statistically significant difference in neonatal red cell glucose utilization could be found except in premature infants of less than 35 weeks' gestational age where it was increased. Young adult red cells consumed more glucose than either a mixed-age red cell population or old adult red cells. Investigation of the glucose carrier system across the red cell membrane in the term newborn human infant was shown to be adequate. Both young and old adult red cells produced approximately 2.0 μM of lactate per micromole of glucose consumed, but neonatal red cells did not produce lactate with any predictable stoichiometry. This suggests an alteration in the neonatal red cell to carry anaerobic glycolysis all the way to lactate. It was also shown that it is erroneous to use whole-blood glucose as a measure of red cell glucose content. This error can be avoided by using plasma-water glucose content as there is a direct relation with red cell water-glucose.
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Accepted: May 31, 1970
Received: September 3, 1969
☆Supported by United States Public Health Service Grant H5430.
© 1970 Published by Elsevier Inc.