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Adhesion in Sickle Cell Disease

We are currently engaged in further delineation of the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease at the cellular and the molecular level by studying both patients with sickle cell disease and mouse models.

We are assessing the interactions among sickle cell erythrocytes, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and platelets. In particular, we recently observed in a mouse model that sickle erythrocytes interacted with adherent leukocytes rather than directly with the endothelium and that mice that lacked endothelial receptors that capture leukocytes (P and E selectins) were protected from vascular occlusion.

We are now studying the molecular basis of these interactions so as to develop therapeutic interventions to diminish the vascular complications of sickle cell disease.