Special Delivery Of Toxic Cell Essay

720 Words Jul 2nd, 2015 3 Pages
Special delivery of toxic cell-free heme causes vascular damage in Sickle Cell Disease

Scientists describe a novel mechanism responsible for blood vessel injury in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD): microparticles derived from sickle cells deliver heme to the vascular endothelial cells causing oxidative damage.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder caused by a single base mutation in the DNA of affected patients, producing abnormal hemoglobin molecules. In SCD, red blood cells (RBCs) that carry oxygen lose their flexibility and typical round shape, and become rigid with a distinctive “sickle” shape that make their passage through blood vessels more difficult. Millions of people worldwide suffer from SCD; this is also the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting approximately 70,000 – 80,000 Americans. (NIH data: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/sickle-cell-disease). There is currently no cure for SCD, but only treatments to manage the symptoms. Several consequent complications characterize this disease:

- RBCs trapping and precipitation inside blood vessels
- Inadequate vasodilation
- Painful vasoocclusion episodes
- Intravascular RBC breakdown (hemolysis) and release of their content of hemoglobin, heme, and iron ions, which are all strong oxidants
- Anemia due to hemolysis
- Toxic oxidative reactions due to cell free-heme damaging the endothelial cells of the vascular lining
- Reduced blood flow and oxygen delivery (ischemic…

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