glycolipids

glycolipids are membrane components composed of lipids that are covalently bonded to monosaccharides or polysaccharides. One type of glycolipid found in human red blood cells is involved in the ABO blood type antigens. The table below shows the relationship between the ABO blood type, the RBC glycolipid and antibodies to the glycolipids in the blood plasma.

 

 blood type

 glycolipid

 antibodies in blood

 O

 

RBC of O type blood have this glycolipids in their RBCs plasma membranes.

 anti A

and

anti B

Individuals with type O blood have antibodies against the type A and type B antigens

 A

Individuals with type A blood have this type of glycolipid in their RBCs plasma membranes. The A type glycolipid has the same carbohydrate composition as does the type O antigen with the addition of a additional N-Acetylgalactosamine which is the A type antigenic determinant.

 anti B

individuals of type A blood have antibodies against the type B determinant

 B

 

Individuals with type B blood have the above kind of glycolipid in their RBC plasma membrane. The B type glycolipid has the same carbohydrate composition as does the type O antigen with the addition of an additional galactose which is the B type antigenic determinant.

 anti A

Individuals of type B blood have antibodies against the type A antigenic determinant

 AB

 

Individuals with type AB blood have both of the above glycolipids in their RBC plasma membranes

 neither A

or B

Individuals with they AB blood have antibodies against neither the the A nor B antigens