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Br J Haematol. 2002 Jul;118(1):337-43.

In vitro effects of NIPRISAN (Nix-0699): a naturally occurring, potent antisickling agent.

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Division of Hematology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Among the various potential antisickling agents tested, hydroxyurea (HU) has been the most effective compound used for the treatment of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Although HU is effective in many patients, not all patients respond to this drug. In addition, some patients reveal adverse effects, including myelosuppression. In an attempt to find other effective agents with less adverse effects, we investigated the antisickling effect of NIPRISAN (Nix-0699). We found that Nix-0699, an ethanol/water extract from indigenous plants, has a strong antisickling effect. The concentration of Nix-0699 required to inhibit 50% of erythrocyte sickling was about 0.05 mg/ml. As for the kinetics of polymerization, addition of 0.05 microg/ml Nix-0699 caused a sixfold prolongation of the delay time prior to deoxy-Hb S polymerization when compared with that of untreated Hb S samples. The solubility of deoxy-Hb S significantly increased upon treatment with Nix-0699. Analysis of the effect of Nix-0699 on the Hb S oxygen affinity indicated that the drug slightly shifted the oxygen-dissociation curve of Hb S toward the left without any apparent change in the Hill coefficient. These results suggest that the antisickling properties of Nix-0699 may involve direct interaction with Hb molecules. Incubation of red blood cell (RBC) suspensions with various concentrations of Nix-0699 did not dehydrate RBCs, cause haemolysis, increase the amount of denatured Hb, nor form met-Hb. In view of the outcome of this study, Nix-0699 may be a promising option for the treatment of patients with SCD.

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