Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers reveal potential treatment for sickle cell disease

02.11.2011
Laboratory study at University of Michigan Health System shows increasing TR2/TR4 expression can lead to higher fetal hemoglobin levels in sickle cell patients

A University of Michigan Health System laboratory study reveals a key trigger for producing normal red blood cells that could lead to a new treatment for those with sickle cell disease.

The study, conducted in mice, appears in this week's early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and holds promise for preventing the painful episodes and organ damage that are common complications of sickle cell disease.

According to the U-M study, increasing the expression of the proteins, TR2 and TR4, more than doubled the level of fetal hemoglobin produced in sickle cell mice and reduced organ damage.

It's the first time specific proteins have been targeted to prevent a disease, authors say.

"The vast majority of sickle cell disease patients are diagnosed early in childhood when adult hemoglobin normally replaces fetal hemoglobin, but the severity of the disease can differ markedly, correlating most strongly with the level of fetal hemoglobin present in red cells," says pediatrician and lead study author Andrew D. Campbell, M.D., director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program at the U-M Cancer Center.

Sickle cell is an inherited blood disorder impacting hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide that causes normal red blood cells to change shape to a crescent moon.

The result is life-long debilitating pain episodes, chronic organ damage and significantly shortened life span. But a small number of sickle cell patients are born with a high enough fetal hemoglobin level to moderate these complications.

The study team, that included pediatric hematologists, cell and developmental biologists and pathology experts at U-M and the University of Tsukuba, Japan, demonstrated a potential method for boosting the fetal hemoglobin levels by modulating TR2/TR4 expression.

"While the average fetal hemoglobin was 7.6 percent in the sickle cell mice, the TR2/TR4 treated sickle cell mice had an average fetal hemoglobin of 18.6 percent," says senior study author James Douglas Engel, Ph.D. , professor and chair of the U-M's Cell and Development Biology Department.

He adds that anemia and red blood cell turnover all improved within the TR2/TR4 mice. Additional studies, including clinical trials, would be requiredto determine if the technique could help humans.

"Currently hydroxyurea is the only FDA approved drug known to increase the levels of fetal hemoglobin within sickle cell disease patients and a substantial number of patients do respond to it," says Campbell, the pediatric hematology oncology specialist. "But the long term consequences for hydroxyurea are unknown, especially in children."

Authors: Andrew D. Campbell, Shuaiying Cui, Lihong Shi, Rebekah Urbonya, Andrea Mathias, Kori Bradley, Kwaku O. Bonsua, Rhonda R. Douglas, Brittne Halford, Lindsay Schmidt, David Harro, Donald Giacherio, Keiji Tanimoto, Osamu Tanabe, and James Douglas Engel.

Reference: "Forced TR2/TR4 Expression in Sickle Cell Disease Mice Confers Enhanced Fetal Hemoglobin Synthesis and Alleviated Disease Phenotypes," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct. 31, 2011.

Funding: Authors work was supported by the American Heart Association, Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health's National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Resources
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
http://www.med.umich.edu/cdb/
U-M Sickle Cell Program
http://www.med.umich.edu/sicklecell/
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/

Shantell M. Kirkendoll | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>