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Blood. 2010 Sep 9;116(10):1779-86. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-12-260513. Epub 2010 May 27.

GMI-1070, a novel pan-selectin antagonist, reverses acute vascular occlusions in sickle cell mice.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine and Gene and Cell Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Leukocyte adhesion in the microvasculature influences blood rheology and plays a key role in vaso-occlusive manifestations of sickle cell disease. Notably, polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) can capture circulating sickle red blood cells (sRBCs) in inflamed venules, leading to critical reduction in blood flow and vaso-occlusion. Recent studies have suggested that E-selectin expression by endothelial cells plays a key role by sending activating signals that lead to the activation of Mac-1 at the leading edge of PMNs, thereby allowing RBC capture. Thus, the inhibition of E-selectin may represent a valuable target in this disease. Here, we have tested the biologic properties of a novel synthetic pan-selectin inhibitor, GMI-1070, with in vitro assays and in a humanized model of sickle cell vaso-occlusion analyzed by intravital microscopy. We have found that GMI-1070 predominantly inhibited E-selectin-mediated adhesion and dramatically inhibited sRBC-leukocyte interactions, leading to improved microcirculatory blood flow and improved survival. These results suggest that GMI-1070 may represent a valuable novel therapeutic intervention for acute sickle cell crises that should be further evaluated in a clinical trial.

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