Mn porphyrins as a novel treatment targeting sickle cell NOXs to reverse and prevent acute vaso-occlusion in vivo.

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In sickle cell disease (SCD), adhesion of sickle red blood cells (SSRBCs) and activated leukocytes in inflamed venules affects blood rheology, causing vaso-occlusive manifestations and vital reduction in microvascular blood flow. Recently, we found that NADPH oxidases (NOXs) create a vicious feedback loop within SSRBCs. This positive feedback loop mediates SSRBC adhesion to the endothelium. We show for the first time the therapeutic effectiveness of the redox-active manganese (Mn) porphyrins MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+ (MnBuOE; BMX-001) and MnTE-2-PyP5+ (MnE; BMX-010, AEOL10113) to treat established vaso-occlusion in a humanized sickle mouse model of an acute vaso-occlusive crisis using intravital microscopy. These Mn porphyrins can suppress SSRBC NOX activity. Subcutaneous administration of only 1 dose of MnBuOE or MnE at 0.1 to 2 mg/kg after the inflammatory trigger of vaso-occlusion, or simultaneously, reversed and reduced leukocyte and SSRBC adhesion, diminished leukocyte rolling, restored blood flow, and increased survival rate. Furthermore, MnBuOE and MnE administered to sickle mice subcutaneously at 0.1 to 1 mg/kg for 28 days (except on weekends) did not exacerbate anemia, which seemed to be due to downregulation of both SSRBC reactive oxygen species production and exposure of the eryptotic marker phosphatidylserine. In addition, Mn porphyrins ameliorated leukocytosis, venous blood gases, endothelial activation, and organ oxidative damage. Our data suggest that Mn porphyrins, likely by repressing NOX-mediated adhesive function of SSRBCs and activated leukocytes, could represent a novel, safe therapeutic intervention to treat or prevent the establishment of acute pain crises. These NOX-targeted antioxidants merit further assessment in SCD clinical trials.






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Thamilarasan, Madhan, Rodolfo Estupinan, Ines Batinic-Haberle and Rahima Zennadi (2020). Mn porphyrins as a novel treatment targeting sickle cell NOXs to reverse and prevent acute vaso-occlusion in vivo. Blood advances, 4(11). pp. 2372–2386. 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001642 Retrieved from

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