This study aims at determining the possible changes in intracellular calcium (Ca i 2+), plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) activity and phosphatidylserine (PS) along with glutathione (GSH) level in response to an oxidant challenge in vitro. Erythrocytes were isolated on Percoll and incubated with 2, 20azobis (2-aminopropane) hydrochloride (AAPH) as well as with vitamin C preceding AAPH incubation. Membrane integrity in terms of hemolysis was negatively related to acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity with the extent of reduction under OS being higher in the old erythrocyte than in the young. A divergent pattern was seen towards lower PMCA and higher (Ca i 2+) in the young and old cells. However, the PMCA activity in the stressed young cell was high when pre-treated with vitamin C. PS externalization in the young under OS is perhaps analogous to normal aging, with vitamin C preventing premature death. Thesefindings suggest that young erythrocytes may benefit from vitamin C in therapies addressed towards the mechanisms underlying the reduced effects of OS. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.