Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound may prevent sickle cell pain crises

Date:
February 1, 2011
Source:
Georgia Health Sciences University
Summary:
A new compound appears to prevent the traffic jam of cells that causes debilitating pain crises and associated mortality in sickle cell disease, researchers report.

A new compound appears to prevent the traffic jam of cells that causes debilitating pain crises and associated mortality in sickle cell disease, Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly Medical College of Georgia) researchers report.

The aptamer, developed by Archemix Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., appears to work by occupying sticky receptors lining the walls of small blood vessels where sickle-shaped red blood cells and white blood cells can pile up, according to the study published in Blood. The cell traffic jam occludes blood and oxygen flow, causing pain, organ damage and, eventually, death.

"Many people are focusing on developing new therapies for sickle cell disease because right now, there is only one FDA-approved choice (hydroxyurea, a chemotherapeutic agent)," said Dr. Diana R. Gutsaeva, GHSU physiologist and molecular biologist and the study's first author. "We think this aptamer has potential to be one of those new therapies."

Patients can become resistant to hydroxyurea, which was approved in1998 as the first treatment for adults with sickle cell disease.

In a mouse with sickle cell disease, administering the aptamer prior to a pain crisis-provoking stressor reduced adhesion of sickle red blood cells by 90 percent and white blood cells by 80 percent, the researchers report. The animals also had increased blood flow velocity and reduced mortality.

GHSU researchers believe the drug can now move to clinical trials where it has potential for treating an acute pain crisis -- now primarily treated with narcotics -- as well as avoiding one, if a tablet form becomes available. The current liquid form must been given intravenously or injected under the skin.

The Food and Drug Administration already has approved one aptamer to treat macular degeneration and others are under study for cardiovascular disease and blood disorders. GHSU also is exploring the potential of inhaled nitric oxide in treating a sickle cell pain crisis. Results of a small clinical study, led by Dr. C. Alvin Head, Chairman of the GHSU Department of Anesthesiology and published in October 2010 in the American Journal of Hematology, showed that inhaling nitric oxide provides better pain control than standard self-administered morphine.

The new aptamer targets P-selectin receptors, which are highly expressed in sickle cell patients. "The aptamer locks them up so they do not function," said Dr. Tohru Ikuta, GHSU molecular hematologist and a study co-author. "There are almost no good compounds that inhibit cell adhesion and many that do are toxic." At least in their animal studies, the new compound wasn't toxic and didn't provoke an immune response, Ikuta said.

"… (T)hese results represent an exciting development offering the possibility of a much-needed, novel, targeted therapy for patients with SCD," Dr. David J. Anstee of the Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences, wrote in a commentary. He noted that further studies are needed to ensure the compound does not produce a harmful immune response.

The research was funded by Archemix Corp., Southeastern Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Health Sciences University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Alvin Head, Paul Swerdlow, William A. McDade, Ratan Mani Joshi, Tohru Ikuta, Melanie L. Cooper, James R. Eckman. Beneficial effects of nitric oxide breathing in adult patients with sickle cell crisis. American Journal of Hematology, 2010; 85 (10): 800 DOI: 10.1002/ajh.21832

Cite This Page:

Georgia Health Sciences University. "Compound may prevent sickle cell pain crises." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201110917.htm>.
Georgia Health Sciences University. (2011, February 1). Compound may prevent sickle cell pain crises. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201110917.htm
Georgia Health Sciences University. "Compound may prevent sickle cell pain crises." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201110917.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins