Thrombin activation of PAR-1 contributes to microvascular stasis in mouse models of sickle cell disease.
ABSTRACT: Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) is the primary cause of morbidity and hospitalization in sickle cell disease (SCD); however, only 4 therapies (hydroxyurea, l-glutamine, crizanlizumab, and voxeletor) are currently approved in SCD. These agents limit the duration, severity, and frequency of crises. Activation of coagulation is a hallmark of SCD. Studies in animal models of SCD have shown that coagulation contributes to the chronic inflammation and end-organ damage associated with the disease; however, it is unknown whether coagulation directly contributes to the microvascular stasis that causes VOC. Herein, we demonstrate that inhibition of tissue factor (TF) and the downstream coagulation proteases factor Xa and thrombin significantly attenuates heme-induced microvascular stasis in mouse models of VOC. Pharmacologic inhibition of the principal thrombin receptor, protease activated receptor-1 (PAR-1), as well as deficiency of PAR-1 in all nonhematopoietic cells, also reduces stasis in sickle mice. PAR-1 deficiency was associated with reduced endothelial von Willebrand factor expression, which has been shown to mediate microvascular stasis. In addition, TF inhibition reduces lung vaso-occlusion in sickle mice mediated by arteriolar neutrophil-platelet microemboli. In sum, these results suggest that prophylactic anticoagulation might attenuate the incidence of VOC.
Project description:Activation of coagulation and vascular inflammation are prominent features of sickle cell disease (SCD). Previously, we have shown that inhibition of tissue factor (TF) attenuates activation of coagulation and vascular inflammation in mouse models of SCD. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which coagulation proteases enhance vascular inflammation in sickle BERK mice. To specifically investigate the contribution of FXa and thrombin, mice were fed chow containing either rivaroxaban or dabigatran, respectively. In addition, we used bone marrow transplantation to generate sickle mice deficient in either protease activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) or protease activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) on nonhematopoietic cells. FXa inhibition and PAR-2 deficiency in nonhematopoietic cells attenuated systemic inflammation, measured by plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). In contrast, neither thrombin inhibition nor PAR-1 deficiency in nonhematopoietic cells affected plasma levels of IL-6 in sickle mice. However, thrombin did contribute to neutrophil infiltration in the lung, independently of PAR-1 expressed by nonhematopoietic cells. Furthermore, the TF-dependent increase in plasma levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in sickle mice was not mediated by FXa or thrombin. Our data indicate that TF, FXa, and thrombin differentially contribute to vascular inflammation in a mouse model of SCD.
Project description:The painful vaso-occlusive crises (VOC) that characterize sickle cell disease (SCD) progress over hours from the asymptomatic steady-state. SCD patients report that VOC can be triggered by stress, cold exposure, and, pain itself. We anticipated that pain could cause neural-mediated vasoconstriction, decreasing regional blood flow and promoting entrapment of sickle cells in the microvasculature. Therefore, we measured microvascular blood flow in the fingers of both hands using plethysmography and laser-Doppler flowmetry while applying a series of painful thermal stimuli on the right forearm in 23 SCD patients and 25 controls. Heat pain applied to one arm caused bilateral decrease in microvascular perfusion. The vasoconstriction response started before administration of the thermal pain stimulus in all subjects, suggesting that pain anticipation also causes significant vasoconstriction. The time delay between thermal pain application and global vasoconstriction ranged from 5 to 15.5 seconds and increased with age (P?<?.01). Although subjective measures, pain threshold and pain tolerance were not different between SCD subjects and controls, but the vaso-reactivity index characterizing the microvascular blood flow response to painful stimuli was significantly higher in SCD patients (P?=?.0028). This global vasoconstriction increases microvascular transit time, and may promote entrapment of sickle cells in the microvasculature, making vaso-occlusion more likely. The rapidity of the global vasoconstriction response indicates a neural origin that may play a part in the transition from steady-state to VOC, and may also contribute to the variability in VOC frequency observed in SCD patients.
Project description:2-Fluorofucose (2FF) blocks the fucosylation and the tethering of sialyl-Lewisx tetrasaccharide and structural variants on leukocytes and red blood cells to P- and E-selectins on activated endothelial cell surfaces. Because P- and E-selectin are required for vaso-occlusion in murine sickle cell disease (SCD), we investigated whether 2FF would inhibit vaso-occlusion in SCD mice. Microvascular stasis was measured in subcutaneous venules in NY1DD and HbSS-Townes SCD mice with dorsal skin-fold chambers after infusion of hemoglobin or exposure to hypoxia/reoxygenation. 2FF in drinking water or administered by gavage inhibited stasis in sickle mice in a dose-responsive manner. Significant inhibitory effects on stasis were seen 1 day post-treatment. 2FF treatment of SCD mice also significantly reduced leukocyte rolling and adhesion along the vessel walls of SCD mice and the static adhesion of neutrophils and sickle red blood cells isolated from 2FF-treated SCD mice to resting and activated endothelial cells. Total white blood cell counts increased in response to 2FF. NF-?B activation and VCAM-1 and E-selectin expression were inhibited in the livers of SCD mice consistent with an overall decrease in vascular inflammation and ischemia-reperfusion physiology. Pretreatment with 2FF completely eliminated heme-induced lethality in HbSS-Townes mice, consistent with the observed anti-inflammatory and anti-adhesive properties of 2FF in SCD mice. These data suggest that 2FF may be beneficial for preventing or treating vaso-occlusive crises in SCD patients.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients have low serum hemopexin (Hpx) levels due to chronic hemolysis. We hypothesize that in SCD mice, hepatic overexpression of hemopexin will scavenge the proximal mediator of vascular activation, heme, and will inhibit inflammation and microvascular stasis. To examine the protective role of Hpx in SCD, we transplanted bone marrow from NY1DD SCD mice into Hpx<sup>™/™</sup> or Hpx<sup>+/+</sup> C57BL/6 mice. Dorsal skin fold chambers were implanted in week 13 post-transplant and microvascular stasis (% non-flowing venules) evaluated in response to heme infusion. Hpx<sup>™/™</sup> sickle mice had significantly greater microvascular stasis in response to heme infusion than Hpx<sup>+/+</sup> sickle mice (p<0.05), demonstrating the protective effect of Hpx in SCD. We utilized Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon-mediated gene transfer to overexpress wild-type rat Hpx (wt-Hpx) in NY1DD and Townes-SS SCD mice. Control SCD mice were treated with lactated Ringer's solution (LRS) or a luciferase (Luc) plasmid. Plasma and hepatic Hpx were significantly increased compared to LRS and Luc controls. Microvascular stasis in response to heme infusion in NY1DD and Townes-SS mice overexpressing wt-Hpx had significantly less stasis than controls (p<0.05). Wt-Hpx overexpression markedly increased hepatic nuclear Nrf2 expression, HO-1 activity and protein, the heme-Hpx binding protein and scavenger receptor, CD91/LRP1 and decreased NF-?B activation. Two missense (ms)-Hpx SB-constructs that bound neither heme nor the Hpx receptor, CD91/LRP1, did not prevent heme-induced stasis. In conclusion, increasing Hpx levels in transgenic sickle mice via gene transfer activates the Nrf2/HO-1 anti-oxidant axis and ameliorates inflammation and vaso-occlusion.
Project description:Heme, released from red blood cells in sickle cell disease (SCD), interacts with toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) to activate NF-?B leading to the production of cytokines and adhesion molecules which promote inflammation, pain, and vaso-occlusion. In SCD, TLR4 inhibition has been shown to modulate heme-induced microvascular stasis and lung injury. We sought to delineate the role of endothelial verses hematopoietic TLR4 in SCD by developing a TLR4 null transgenic sickle mouse. We bred a global <i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> deficiency state into Townes-AA mice expressing normal human adult hemoglobin A and Townes-SS mice expressing sickle hemoglobin S. SS-<i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> had similar complete blood counts and serum chemistries as SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>+/+</sup> mice. However, SS-<i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice developed significantly less microvascular stasis in dorsal skin fold chambers than SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>+/+</sup> mice in response to challenges with heme, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). To define a potential mechanism for decreased microvascular stasis in SS-<i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice, we measured pro-inflammatory NF-?B and adhesion molecules in livers post-heme challenge. Compared to heme-challenged SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>+/+</sup> livers, SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>-/-</sup> livers had lower adhesion molecule and cytokine mRNAs, NF-?B phospho-p65, and adhesion molecule protein expression. Furthermore, lung P-selectin and von Willebrand factor immunostaining was reduced. Next, to establish if endothelial or hematopoietic cell TLR4 signaling is critical to vaso-occlusive physiology, we created chimeric mice by transplanting SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>-/-</sup> or SS-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>+/+</sup> bone marrow into AA-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>-/-</sup> or AA-<i>Tlr4</i> <sup>+/+</sup> recipients. Hemin-stimulated microvascular stasis was significantly decreased when the recipient was AA-<i>Tlr4<sup>-/-</sup></i> . These data demonstrate that endothelial, but not hematopoietic, TLR4 expression is necessary to initiate vaso-occlusive physiology in SS mice.
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.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a devastating hemoglobinopathy prevalent in Chhattisgarh and other states of central India. Clinical features in SCD arise mainly due to anemia and vaso-occlusion and inflammation leading to gradual multiple organ failure. Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) is a common cause of sudden death among SCD patients. Aim of the study was to evaluate gene expression in patients of SCD in a quest to search up-regulated genes in VOC. Overall design: 20 subjects were enrolled in the study, 7 each from sickle cell steady (HbSS SS) and crisis state (HbSS CS) and 6 healthy controls (HbAA). Whole blood transcriptome was compared between the study groups.
Project description:The basic model of SCD physiology states that vaso-occlusion occurs when hemoglobin S-containing red blood cells (RBC) undergo sickling before they escape the capillary into a larger vessel. We have shown that mental stress, pain and cold, and events reported by patients to trigger SCD vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), cause rapid and significant decrease in blood flow, reducing the likelihood that RBC could transit the microvasculature before sickling occurs. However, the critical link between decrease in microvascular blood flow and the incidence of future sickle VOC has never been established experimentally in humans. Using data from centrally adjudicated, overnight polysomnograms (PSG), previously collected in a prospective multi-center cohort sleep study, we analyzed the beat-to-beat amplitudes of vasoconstriction reported by the fingertip photoplethysmogram in 212 children and adolescents with SCD and developed an algorithm that detects vasoconstriction events and quantifies the magnitude (M<sub>vasoc</sub> ), duration, and frequency of vasoconstriction that reflect the individual's inherent peripheral vasoreactivity. The propensity to vasoconstrict, quantified by median M<sub>vasoc</sub> , predicted the incidence rate of post-PSG severe acute vaso-occlusive pain events (P = .006) after accounting for age and hemoglobin. Indices of sleep-disordered breathing contributed to median M<sub>vasoc</sub> but did not predict future pain rate. Median M<sub>vasoc</sub> was not associated with vaso-occlusive pain events that occurred prior to each PSG. These results show that SCD individuals with high inherent propensity to vasoconstrict have more frequent severe acute pain events. Our empirical findings are consistent with the fundamental SCD hypothesis that decreased microvascular flow promotes microvascular occlusion.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by chronic hemolytic anemia, vaso-occlusive crises, chronic inflammation, and activation of coagulation. The clinical complications such as painful crisis, stroke, pulmonary hypertension, nephropathy and venous thromboembolism lead to cumulative organ damage and premature death. High molecular weight kininogen (HK) is a central cofactor for the kallikrein-kinin and intrinsic coagulation pathways, which contributes to both coagulation and inflammation.<h4>Objective</h4>We hypothesize that HK contributes to the hypercoagulable and pro-inflammatory state that causes end-organ damage and early mortality in sickle mice.<h4>Methods</h4>We evaluated the role of HK in the Townes mouse model of SCD.<h4>Results/conclusions</h4>We found elevated plasma levels of cleaved HK in sickle patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting ongoing HK activation in SCD. We used bone marrow transplantation to generate wild type and sickle cell mice on a HK-deficient background. We found that short-term HK deficiency attenuated thrombin generation and inflammation in sickle mice at steady state, which was independent of bradykinin signaling. Moreover, long-term HK deficiency attenuates kidney injury, reduces chronic inflammation, and ultimately improves survival of sickle mice.
Project description:Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) suffer from intravascular hemolysis associated with vascular injury and dysfunction in mouse models, and painful vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) involving increased attachment of sickle erythrocytes and activated leukocytes to damaged vascular endothelium. Patrolling monocytes, which normally scavenge damaged cells and debris from the vasculature, express higher levels of anti-inflammatory heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), a heme degrading enzyme. Here, we show that HO-1-expressing patrolling monocytes protect SCD vasculature from ongoing hemolytic insult and vaso-occlusion. We found that a mean 37% of patrolling monocytes from SCD patients express very high levels of HO-1 (HO-1<sup>hi</sup>) vs 6% in healthy controls and demonstrated that HO-1<sup>hi</sup> expression was dependent on uptake of heme-exposed endothelium. SCD patients with a recent VOC episode had lower numbers of HO-1<sup>hi</sup> patrolling monocytes. Heme-mediated vaso-occlusion by mouse SCD red blood cells was exacerbated in mice lacking patrolling monocytes, and reversed following transfer of patrolling monocytes. Altogether, these data indicate that SCD patrolling monocytes remove hemolysis-damaged endothelial cells, resulting in HO-1 upregulation and dampening of VOC, and that perturbation in patrolling monocyte numbers resulting in lower numbers of HO-1<sup>hi</sup> patrolling monocyte may predispose SCD patients to VOC. These data suggest that HO-1<sup>hi</sup> patrolling monocytes are key players in VOC pathophysiology and have potential as therapeutic targets for VOC.