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Papers of the Week

2020 Mar



Pro-inflammatory cytokines associate with NETosis during sickle cell vaso-occlusive crises.


Barbu EA, Mendelsohn L, Samsel L, Thein S L
Cytokine. 2020 Mar; 127:154933.
PMID: 31778959.


Recurring episodes of acute pain, also referred to as vaso-occlusive crises (VOC), are characteristic of sickle cell disease (SCD), during which pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, adhesion markers and white cell count, some already elevated at steady state, increase further. Hydroxyurea (HU) is licensed by the FDA for reducing frequency of VOCs in SCD; increased fetal hemoglobin (HbF) together with reduction of the neutrophil count and circulating inflammatory markers, contribute to its clinical efficacy. Here, using paired plasma samples from HbSS patients (in steady-state and VOC) we determined that despite HU treatment, the SCD environment remained highly inflammatory and particularly at VOC, triggered neutrophil activity. While neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) induction by the steady state plasmas were comparable to that of plasma from healthy donors, the NETs response triggered by crisis plasmas was significantly increased over that of the steady state (P = 0.0124*). Levels of IL-6 and IL-1α, IL-1ra/IL1F3 and adhesion molecule P-selectin were significantly increased in the VOC plasma when compared with steady state plasma. Higher levels of IL-6 and IL-1ra were also found in the crises samples that yielded an increased NETs response suggesting that increased NETs production associated with increased levels of the inflammatory products of the IL-6 family and regulators of IL-1 family of cytokines during sickle VOCs.