Polymer structure and solubility of deoxyhemoglobin S in the presence of high concentrations of volume-excluding 70-kDa dextran. Effects of non-s hemoglobins and inhibitors.
Earlier observations indicated that volume exclusion by admixed non-hemoglobin macromolecules lowered the polymer solubility ("Csat") of deoxyhemoglobin (Hb) S, presumably by increasing its activity. In view of the potential usefulness of these observations for in vitro studies of sickling-related polymerization, we examined the ultrastructure, solubility behavior, and phase distributions of deoxygenated mixtures of Hb S with 70-kDa dextran, a relatively inert, low ionic strength space-filling macromolecule. Increasing admixture of dextran progressively lowered the Csat of deoxyHb S. With 12 g/dl dextran, a 5-fold decrease in apparent Csat ("dextran-Csat") was obtained together with acceptable sensitivity and proportionality with the standard Csat when assessing the effects of non-S Hb admixtures (A, C, and F) or polymerization inhibitors (alkylureas or phenylalanine). The volume fraction of dextran excluding Hb was 70-75% of total deoxyHb-dextran (12 g/dl) volumes. Electron microscopy showed polymer fibers and fiber-to-crystal transitions indistinguishable from those formed without dextran. Thus when Hb quantities are limited, as with genetically engineered recombinant Hbs or transgenic sickle mice, the dextran-Csat provides convenient and reliable screening of effects of Hb S modifications on polymerization under near-physiological conditions, avoiding problems of high ionic strength. (+info)
Sustained induction of fetal hemoglobin by pulse butyrate therapy in sickle cell disease.
High levels of fetal hemoglobin (Hb F) protect from many of the complications of sickle cell disease and lead to improved survival. Butyrate and other short chain fatty acids were previously shown to increase Hb F production in erythroid cells in vitro and in animal models in vivo. However, butyrates are also known to inhibit the proliferation of many cell types, including erythroid cells. Experience with the use of butyrate in animal models and in early clinical trials demonstrated that the Hb F response may be lost after prolonged administration of high doses of butyrate. We hypothesized that this loss of response may be a result of the antiproliferative effects of butyrate. We designed a regimen consisting of intermittent or pulse therapy in which butyrate was administered for 4 days followed by 10 to 24 days with no drug exposure. This pulse regimen induced fetal globin gene expression in 9 of 11 patients. The mean Hb F in this group increased from 7.2% to 21.0% (P <.002) after intermittent butyrate therapy for a mean duration of 29.9 weeks. This was associated with a parallel increase in the number of F cells and F reticulocytes. The total hemoglobin levels also increased from a mean of 7.8 g/dL to a mean of 8.8 g/dL (P <.006). The increased levels of Hb F were sustained in all responders, including 1 patient who has been on pulse butyrate therapy for more than 28 months. This regimen, which resulted in a marked and sustained increase in Hb F levels in more than two thirds of the adult sickle cell patients enrolled in this study, was well tolerated without adverse side effects. These encouraging results require confirmation along with an appropriate evaluation of clinical outcomes in a larger number of patients with sickle cell disease. (+info)
In vivo blood flow abnormalities in the transgenic knockout sickle cell mouse.
The accepted importance of circulatory impairment to sickle cell anemia remains to be verified by in vivo experimentation. Intravital microscopy studies of blood flow in patients are limited to circulations that can be viewed noninvasively and are restricted from deliberate perturbations of the circulation. Further knowledge of sickle blood flow abnormalities has awaited an animal model of human sickle cell disease. We compared blood flow in the mucosal-intestinal microvessels of normal mice with that in transgenic knockout sickle cell mice that have erythrocytes containing only human hemoglobin S and that exhibit a degree of hemolytic anemia and pathological complications similar to the human disease. In sickle cell mice, in addition to seeing blood flow abnormalities such as sludging in all microvessels, we detected decreased blood flow velocity in venules of all diameters. Flow responses to hyperoxia in both normal and sickle cell mice were dramatic, but opposite: Hyperoxia promptly slowed or halted flow in normal mice but markedly enhanced flow in sickle cell mice. Intravital microscopic studies of this murine model provide important insights into sickle cell blood flow abnormalities and suggest that this model can be used to evaluate the causes of abnormal flow and new approaches to therapy of sickle cell disease. (+info)
Candida dubliniensis candidemia in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and bone marrow transplantation.
The recently described species Candida dubliniensis has been recovered primarily from superficial oral candidiasis in HIV-infected patients. No clinically documented invasive infections were reported until now in this patient group or in other immunocompromised patients. We report three cases of candidemia due to this newly emerging Candida species in HIV-negative patients with chemotherapy-induced immunosuppression and bone marrow transplantation. (+info)
Development of viral vectors for gene therapy of beta-chain hemoglobinopathies: optimization of a gamma-globin gene expression cassette.
Progress toward gene therapy of beta-chain hemoglobinopathies has been limited in part by poor expression of globin genes in virus vectors. To derive an optimal expression cassette, we systematically analyzed the sequence requirements and relative strengths of the Agamma- and beta-globin promoters, the activities of various erythroid-specific enhancers, and the importance of flanking and intronic sequences. Expression was analyzed by RNase protection after stable plasmid transfection of the murine erythroleukemia cell line, MEL585. Promoter truncation studies showed that the Agamma-globin promoter could be deleted to -159 without affecting expression, while deleting the beta-globin promoter to -127 actually increased expression compared with longer fragments. Expression from the optimal beta-globin gene promoter was consistently higher than that from the optimal Agamma-globin promoter, regardless of the enhancer used. Enhancers tested included a 2.5-kb composite of the beta-globin locus control region (termed a muLCR), a combination of the HS2 and HS3 core elements of the LCR, and the HS-40 core element of the alpha-globin locus. All three enhancers increased expression from the beta-globin gene to roughly the same extent, while the HS-40 element was notably less effective with the Agamma-globin gene. However, the HS-40 element was able to efficiently enhance expression of a Agamma-globin gene linked to the beta-globin promoter. Inclusion of extended 3' sequences from either the beta-globin or the Agamma-globin genes had no significant effect on expression. A 714-bp internal deletion of Agamma-globin intron 2 unexpectedly increased expression more than twofold. With the combination of a -127 beta-globin promoter, an Agamma-globin gene with the internal deletion of intron 2, and a single copy of the HS-40 enhancer, gamma-globin expression averaged 166% of murine alpha-globin mRNA per copy in six pools and 105% in nine clones. When placed in a retrovirus vector, this cassette was also expressed at high levels in MEL585 cells (averaging 75% of murine alpha-globin mRNA per copy) without reducing virus titers. However, recombined provirus or aberrant splicing was observed in 5 of 12 clones, indicating a significant degree of genetic instability. Taken together, these data demonstrate the development of an optimal expression cassette for gamma-globin capable of efficient expression in a retrovirus vector and form the basis for further refinement of vectors containing this cassette. (+info)
Osteonecrosis of the hip in sickle-cell disease associated with tuberculous arthritis. A review of 15 cases.
We report a study of 15 cases of tuberculous hips with sickle-cell disease who presented during 1991-1993. Although the osteonecrosis was long-standing, biopsy was nearly always required to reveal the more recent tuberculous infection. Management consisted of 6 months of anti-tuberculous chemotherapy with appropriate palliative surgery 5-8 weeks after the start of drug treatment. The operative techniques which we used are described. The results were good both post-operatively, and in 12 patients followed-up at an average of 3 years. We recommend this combined management for the treatment of secondary tuberculous infections of hips previously damaged by sickle-cell disease. (+info)
Large cerebral vessel disease in sickle cell anaemia.
An 18 year old male with documented sickle cell disease was admitted to the hospital for the final time in coma. Cerebral angiography revealed multiple stenotic lesions of the large cerebral vessels. The pathology of this large vessel involvement is demonstrated and the potential contribution of large as opposed to small cerebral vessel disease in the neurological manifestations of sickle cell anaemia is discussed. (+info)
Perceived stress factors and coping mechanisms among mothers of children with sickle cell disease in western Nigeria.
While many studies have looked at the stressful effects of chronic illness of those who suffer such conditions, less is known about the effects on caregivers, especially in developing countries. Mothers in particular must bear the brunt of care and stress for children who have sickle cell disease (SCD). A sample of 200 mothers attending six SCD clinics in both public and private hospitals in the Ibadan-Ibarapa Health Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria, were interviewed. Stress levels were measured using an instrument comprised of stressors listed by mothers themselves in focus group discussions that preceded the survey. Higher levels of stress were associated with less educated and older women, as well as non-married women and those in polygamous households. Stress levels were also greater when there was more than one child with SCD in the family and when the index child was of school age. Coping mechanisms varied according to the category of stressor. Financial stress and disease factors were met with confrontation while family sources of stress were either complained about, accepted or avoided. Knowledge of the different types of mothers who experience more stress and of their preferred coping mechanisms can be useful in designing clinic-based counseling. (+info)