Epinephrine-induced activation of LW-mediated sickle cell adhesion and vaso-occlusion in vivo.
ABSTRACT: Sickle red cell (SS RBC) adhesion is believed to contribute to the process of vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease (SCD). We previously found that the LW RBC adhesion receptor can be activated by epinephrine to mediate SS RBC adhesion to endothelial alphavbeta3 integrin. To determine the contribution of LW activation to vaso-occlusive events in vivo, we investigated whether in vitro treatment of SS RBCs by epinephrine resulted in vaso-occlusion in intact microvasculature after RBC infusion into nude mice. Epinephrine enhanced human SS but not normal RBC adhesion to murine endothelial cells in vitro and to endothelium in vivo, promoting vaso-occlusion and RBC organ sequestration. Murine sickle RBCs also responded to epinephrine with increased adhesion to postcapillary endothelium in nude mice. Epinephrine-induced SS RBC adhesion, vaso-occlusion, and RBC organ trapping could be prevented by the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) antagonist, propranolol. Infusion of soluble recombinant LW also significantly reduced adhesion and vaso-occlusion. In addition, epinephrine-treated SS RBCs induced activation of murine leukocyte adhesion to endothelium as well. We conclude that LW activation by epinephrine via beta-AR stimulation can promote both SS RBC and leukocyte adhesion as well as vaso-occlusion, suggesting that both epinephrine and LW play potentially pathophysiological roles in SCD.
Project description:Sickle red blood cells (SSRBCs) are adherent to the endothelium, activate leukocyte adhesion, and are deficient in bioactive nitric oxide (NO) adducts such as S-nitrosothiols (SNOs), with reduced ability to induce vasodilation in response to hypoxia. All these pathophysiologic characteristics promote vascular occlusion, the hallmark of sickle cell disease (SCD). Loading hypoxic SSRBCs in vitro with NO followed by reoxygenation significantly decreased epinephrine-activated SSRBC adhesion to the endothelium, the ability of activated SSRBCs to mediate leukocyte adhesion in vitro, and vessel obstruction in vivo. Because transfusion is frequently used in SCD, we also determined the effects of banked (SNO-depleted) red blood cells (RBCs) on vaso-occlusion in vivo. Fresh or 14-day-old normal RBCs (AARBCs) reduced epinephrine-activated SSRBC adhesion to the vascular endothelium and prevented vaso-occlusion. In contrast, AARBCs stored for 30 days failed to decrease activated SSRBC adhesivity or vaso-occlusion, unless these RBCs were loaded with NO. Furthermore, NO loading of SSRBCs increased S-nitrosohemoglobin and modulated epinephrine's effect by upregulating phosphorylation of membrane proteins, including pyruvate kinase, E3 ubiquitin ligase, and the cytoskeletal protein 4.1. Thus, abnormal SSRBC NO/SNO content both contributes to the vaso-occlusive pathophysiology of SCD, potentially by affecting at least protein phosphorylation, and is potentially amenable to correction by (S)NO repletion or by RBC transfusion.
Project description:Human healthy (wild-type (WT)) and homozygous sickle (SS) red blood cells (RBCs) express a large number of surface receptors that mediate cell adhesion between RBCs, and between RBCs and white blood cells, platelets, and the endothelium. In sickle cell disease (SCD), abnormal adhesion of RBCs to endothelial cells is mediated by the intercellular adhesion molecule-4 (ICAM-4), which appears on the RBC membrane and binds to the endothelial ?v?3 integrin. This is a key factor in the initiation of vaso-occlusive episodes, the hallmark of SCD. A better understanding of the mechanisms that control RBC adhesion to endothelium may lead to novel approaches to both prevention and treatment of vaso-occlusive episodes in SCD. One important mechanism of ICAM-4 activation occurs via the cyclic adenosine monophosphate-protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA)-dependent signaling pathway. Here, we employed an in vitro technique called single-molecule force spectroscopy to study the effect of modulation of the cAMP-PKA-dependent pathway on ICAM-4 receptor activation. We quantified the frequency of active ICAM-4 receptors on WT-RBC and SS-RBC membranes, as well as the median unbinding force between ICAM-4 and ?v?3. We showed that the collective frequency of unbinding events in WT-RBCs is not significantly different from that of SS-RBCs. This result was confirmed by confocal microscopy experiments. In addition, we showed that incubation of normal RBCs and SS-RBCs with epinephrine, a catecholamine that binds to the ?-adrenergic receptor and activates the cAMP-PKA-dependent pathway, caused a significant increase in the frequency of active ICAM-4 receptors in both normal RBCs and SS-RBCs. However, the unbinding force between ICAM-4 and the corresponding ligand ?v?3 remained the same. Furthermore, we demonstrated that forskolin, an adenylyl cyclase activator, significantly increased the frequency of ICAM-4 receptors in WT-RBCs and SS-RBCs, confirming that the activation of ICAM-4 is regulated by the cAMP-PKA pathway. Finally, we showed that A-kinase anchoring proteins play an essential role in ICAM-4 activation.
Project description:The core pathology of sickle cell disease (SCD) starts with the erythrocyte (RBC). Aberration in MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling, which can regulate cell adhesion, occurs in diverse pathologies. Because RBCs contain abundant ERK1/2, we predicted that ERK1/2 is functional in sickle (SS) RBCs and promotes adherence, a hallmark of SCD. ERK1/2 remained active in SS but not normal RBCs. ?(2)-adrenergic receptor stimulation by epinephrine can enhance ERK1/2 activity only in SS RBCs via PKA- and tyrosine kinase p72(syk)-dependent pathways. ERK signaling is implicated in RBC ICAM-4 phosphorylation, promoting SS RBC adhesion to the endothelium. SS RBC adhesion and phosphorylation of both ERK and ICAM-4 all decreased with continued cell exposure to epinephrine, implying that activation of ICAM-4-mediated SS RBC adhesion is temporally associated with ERK1/2 activation. Furthermore, recombinant ERK2 phosphorylated ?- and ?-adducins and dematin at the ERK consensus motif. Cytoskeletal protein 4.1 also showed dynamic phosphorylation but not at the ERK consensus motif. These results demonstrate that ERK activation induces phosphorylation of cytoskeletal proteins and the adhesion molecule ICAM-4, promoting SS RBC adhesion to the endothelium. Thus, blocking RBC ERK1/2 activation, such as that promoted by catecholamine stress hormones, could ameliorate SCD pathophysiology.
Project description:In sickle cell disease (SCD), hemoglobin molecules polymerize intracellularly and lead to a cascade of events resulting in decreased deformability and increased adhesion of red blood cells (RBCs). Decreased deformability and increased adhesion of sickle RBCs lead to blood vessel occlusion (vaso-occlusion) in SCD patients. Here, we present a microfluidic approach integrated with a cell dimensioning algorithm to analyze dynamic deformability of adhered RBC at the single-cell level in controlled microphysiological flow. We measured and compared dynamic deformability and adhesion of healthy hemoglobin A (HbA) and homozygous sickle hemoglobin (HbS) containing RBCs in blood samples obtained from 24 subjects. We introduce a new parameter to assess deformability of RBCs: the dynamic deformability index (DDI), which is defined as the time-dependent change of the cell's aspect ratio in response to fluid flow shear stress. Our results show that DDI of HbS-containing RBCs were significantly lower compared to that of HbA-containing RBCs. Moreover, we observed subpopulations of HbS containing RBCs in terms of their dynamic deformability characteristics: deformable and non-deformable RBCs. Then, we tested blood samples from SCD patients and analyzed RBC adhesion and deformability at physiological and above physiological flow shear stresses. We observed significantly greater number of adhered non-deformable sickle RBCs than deformable sickle RBCs at flow shear stresses well above the physiological range, suggesting an interplay between dynamic deformability and increased adhesion of RBCs in vaso-occlusive events.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder that leads to red blood cell (RBC) sickling, hemolysis and the upregulation of adhesion molecules on sickle RBCs. Chronic hemolysis in SCD results in a hyper-inflammatory state characterized by activation of circulating leukocytes, platelets and endothelial cells even in the absence of a crisis. A crisis in SCD is often triggered by an inflammatory stimulus and can lead to the acute chest syndrome (ACS), which is a type of lung injury and a leading cause of mortality among SCD patients. Although it is believed that pulmonary vaso-occlusion could be the phenomenon contributing to the development of ACS, the role of vaso-occlusion in ACS remains elusive. Intravital imaging of the cremaster microcirculation in SCD mice has been instrumental in establishing the role of neutrophil-RBC-endothelium interactions in systemic vaso-occlusion; however, such studies, although warranted, have never been done in the pulmonary microcirculation of SCD mice. Here, we show that two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy can be used to perform quantitative analysis of neutrophil and RBC trafficking in the pulmonary microcirculation of SCD mice. We provide the experimental approach that enables microscopic observations under physiological conditions and use it to show that RBC and neutrophil trafficking is comparable in SCD and control mice in the absence of an inflammatory stimulus. The intravital imaging scheme proposed in this study can be useful in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanism of pulmonary vaso-occlusion in SCD mice following an inflammatory stimulus.
Project description:Non-adherence and deformability are the key intrinsic biomechanical features of the red blood cell (RBC), which allow it to tightly squeeze and pass through even the narrowest of microcirculatory networks. Blockage of microcirculatory flow, also known as vaso-occlusion, is a consequence of abnormal cellular adhesion to the vascular endothelium. In sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited anaemia, even though RBCs have been shown to be heterogeneous in adhesiveness and deformability, this has not been studied in the context of physiologically relevant dynamic shear gradients at the microscale. We developed a microfluidic system that simulates physiologically relevant shear gradients of microcirculatory blood flow at a constant single volumetric flow rate. Using this system, shear dependent adhesion of RBCs from 28 subjects with SCD and from 11 healthy subjects was investigated using vascular endothelial protein functionalized microchannels. We defined a new term, RBC Shear Gradient Microfluidic Adhesion (SiGMA) index to assess shear dependent RBC adhesion in a subject-specific manner. We have shown for the first time that shear dependent adhesion of RBCs is heterogeneous in a microfluidic flow model, which correlates clinically with inflammatory markers and iron overload in subjects with SCD. This study reveals the complex dynamic interactions between RBC-mediated microcirculatory occlusion and clinical outcomes in SCD. These interactions may also be relevant to other microcirculatory disorders and microvascular diseases.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) afflicts millions of people worldwide and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Chronic and acute vaso-occlusion are the clinical hallmarks of SCD and can result in pain crisis, widespread organ damage, and early movtality. Even though the molecular underpinnings of SCD were identified more than 60 years ago, there are no molecular or biophysical markers of disease severity that are feasibly measured in the clinic. Abnormal cellular adhesion to vascular endothelium is at the root of vaso-occlusion. However, cellular adhesion is not currently evaluated clinically. Here, we present a clinically applicable microfluidic device (SCD biochip) that allows serial quantitative evaluation of red blood cell (RBC) adhesion to endothelium-associated protein-immobilized microchannels, in a closed and preprocessing-free system. With the SCD biochip, we have analyzed blood samples from more than 100 subjects and have shown associations between the measured RBC adhesion to endothelium-associated proteins (fibronectin and laminin) and individual RBC characteristics, including hemoglobin content, fetal hemoglobin concentration, plasma lactate dehydrogenase level, and reticulocyte count. The SCD biochip is a functional adhesion assay, reflecting quantitative evaluation of RBC adhesion, which could be used at baseline, during crises, relative to various long-term complications, and before and after therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Human normal and sickle red blood cells (RBCs) adhere with high affinity to the alpha5 chain of laminin (LAMA5) via the basal cell adhesion molecule/Lutheran (BCAM/Lu) receptor, which is implicated in vasoocclusive episodes in sickle cell disease and activated through the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling pathway. However, the effect of the cAMP pathway on the expression of active BCAM/Lu receptors at the single-molecule level is unknown. We established an in vitro technique, based on atomic force microscopy, which enables detection of single BCAM/Lu proteins on the RBC surface and measures the unbinding force between BCAM/Lu and LAMA5. We showed that the expression of active BCAM/Lu receptors is higher in homozygous sickle RBCs (SS-RBCs) than normal RBCs and that it is critically dependent on the cAMP signaling pathway on both normal and SS-RBCs. Of importance, we illustrated that A-kinase anchoring proteins are crucial for BCAM/Lu receptor activation. Furthermore, we found that SS-RBCs from hydroxyurea-treated patients show a lower expression of active BCAM/Lu receptors, a lower unbinding force to LAMA5, and insignificant stimulation by epinephrine as compared to SS-RBCs from untreated patients. To our knowledge, these findings may lead to novel antiadhesive targets for vasoocclusive episodes in sickle cell disease.
Project description:Vasoocclusion crisis is a key hallmark of sickle cell anemia. Although early studies suggest that this crisis is caused by blockage of a single elongated cell, recent experiments have revealed that vasoocclusion is a complex process triggered by adhesive interactions among different cell groups in multiple stages. However, the quantification of the biophysical characteristics of sickle cell anemia remains an open issue. Based on dissipative particle dynamics, we develop a multiscale model for the sickle red blood cells (SS-RBCs), accounting for diversity in both shapes and cell rigidities, to investigate the precise mechanism of vasoocclusion. First, we investigate the adhesive dynamics of a single SS-RBC in shear flow and static conditions, and find that the different cell groups (SS2: young-deformable SS-RBCs, ISCs: rigid-irreversible SS-RBCs) exhibit heterogeneous adhesive behavior due to the diverse cell morphologies and membrane rigidities. We quantify the observed adhesion behavior (in static conditions) in terms of a balance of free energies due to cell adhesion and deformation, and propose a power law that relates the free-energy increase as a function of the contact area. We further simulate postcapillary flow of SS-RBC suspensions with different cell fractions. The more adhesive SS2 cells interact with the vascular endothelium and trap ISC cells, resulting in vasoocclusion in vessels less than 12-14 ?m depending on the hematocrit. Under inflammation, adherent leukocytes may also trap ISC cells, resulting in vasoocclusion in even larger vessels.
Project description:Innate immune complement activation may contribute to sickle cell disease (SCD) pathogenesis. Ischemia-reperfusion physiology is a key component of the inflammatory and vaso-occlusive milieu in SCD and is associated with complement activation. C5a is an anaphylatoxin, a potent pro-inflammatory mediator that can activate leukocytes, platelets, and endothelial cells, all of which play a role in vaso-occlusion. We hypothesize that hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) in SCD mice activates complement, promoting inflammation and vaso-occlusion. At baseline and after H/R, sickle Townes-SS mice had increased C3 activation fragments and C5b-9 deposition in kidneys, livers and lungs and alternative pathway Bb fragments in plasma compared to control AA-mice. Activated complement promoted vaso-occlusion (microvascular stasis) in SS-mice; infusion of zymosan-activated, but not heat-inactivated serum, induced substantial vaso-occlusion in the skin venules of SS-mice. Infusion of recombinant C5a induced stasis in SS, but not AA-mice that was blocked by anti-C5a receptor (C5aR) IgG. C5a-mediated stasis was accompanied by inflammatory responses in SS-mice including NF-?B activation and increased expression of TLR4 and adhesion molecules VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin in the liver. Anti-C5aR IgG blocked these inflammatory responses. Also, C5a rapidly up-regulated Weibel-Palade body P-selectin and von Willebrand factor on the surface of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro and on vascular endothelium in vivo. In SS-mice, a blocking antibody to P-selectin inhibited C5a-induced stasis. Similarly, an antibody to C5 that blocks murine C5 cleavage or an antibody that blocks C5aR inhibited H/R-induced stasis in SS-mice. These results suggest that inhibition of C5a may be beneficial in SCD.