Neutrophils remain detrimentally active in hydroxyurea-treated patients with sickle cell disease

Autoři: Emilia Alina Barbu aff001;  Venina M. Dominical aff002;  Laurel Mendelsohn aff001;  Swee Lay Thein aff001
Působiště autorů: Sickle Cell Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States of America aff001;  Flow Cytometry Core Facility, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States of America aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Neutrophilia is a feature of sickle cell disease (SCD) that has been consistently correlated with clinical severity and has been shown to remain highly activated even at steady state. In addition to induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), hydroxyurea (HU) leads to reduction in neutrophil count and their adhesion properties, which contributes to the clinical efficacy of HU in SCD. Although HU reduces the frequency and severity of acute vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) and chest syndrome, HU therapy does not abolish these acute clinical events. In this study we investigated whether neutrophils in SCD patients whilst on HU therapy retained features of detrimental pro-inflammatory activity. Freshly isolated neutrophils from SCD patients on HU therapy at steady state and from ethnic-matched healthy controls were evaluated ex vivo for their degranulation response and production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Unstimulated SCD patient neutrophils already produced NETs within 30 minutes, compared to none for healthy neutrophils, and by 4 hours, these neutrophils produced significantly more NETs than the control neutrophils (P = 0.0079**). Higher numbers of neutrophils from SCD patients also showed higher degree of degranulation-related intracellular features compared to healthy neutrophils, including rough-textured cellular membranes (P = 0.03*), double-positivity for F-Actin and CD63 (P = 0.02*) and re-located CD63 within cytoplasm more efficiently than their healthy counterparts (P = 0.02*). The neutrophils from SCD donors released more myeloperoxidase (P = 0.02*) in the absence of any trigger. Our data showed that neutrophils from patients with SCD at steady state remained active during hydroxyurea treatment and are likely to be able to contribute to the SCD pro-inflammatory environment.

Klíčová slova:

Cell membranes – DAPI staining – Flow cytometry – Fluorescence microscopy – Neutrophils – Nuclear staining – Sickle cell disease – Cell degranulation


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