RNA aptamer therapy for vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease.
Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) often suffer painful vaso-occlusive episodes caused in part by the adhesion of sickle erythrocytes (SS-RBC) to the vascular endothelium. To investigate inhibition of SS-RBC adhesion as a possible treatment for vaso-occlusion, 2 adhesion molecules, α(v)β(3) and P-selectin, were targeted by high-affinity RNA aptamers. An in vitro flow chamber assay was used to test the antiadhesion activity of α(v)β(3) aptamer clone 17.16. Human SS-RBC were passed across a confluent monolayer of thrombin-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) at a constant rate. α(v)β(3) aptamer reduced SS-RBC adhesion to activated endothelial cells to the level seen with untreated HUVEC. An aptamer reactive with complement component 8 was used as a negative control and exerted no inhibition, confirming the specificity of α(v)β(3) aptamer (P=0.04). At 2 dyn/cm(2) shear stress, 30 nM α(v)β(3) aptamer showed maximal effect in decreasing SS-RBC adhesion to HUVEC. The antiadhesive activity of the P-selectin aptamer clone PF377 was also tested using HUVEC pretreated with IL-13 to upregulate expression of P-selectin as seen in activated endothelial cells. At 1 dyn/cm(2) shear stress, 60 nM of P-selectin aptamer had antiadhesion activity similar to heparin, a known inhibitor of SS-RBC adhesion to P-selectin. A negative control did not prevent adhesion (P=0.05). These data show the potential utility of aptamers to block endothelial adhesion molecules to prevent or treat vaso-occlusion in SCD.
Burnette, AD; Nimjee, SM; Batchvarova, M; Zennadi, R; Telen, MJ; Nishimura, J-I; Sullenger, BA
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