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Expert Rev Hematol. 2009 Feb;2(1):57-68. doi: 10.1586/17474086.2.1.57.

Leukotriene pathway in sickle cell disease: a potential target for directed therapy.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by recurrent episodes of vaso-occlusion, resulting in tissue ischemia and end-organ damage. Inflammation is critical to the pathogenesis of vaso-occlusion and has been associated with SCD-related morbidity and mortality. Despite the impact of inflammation, no directed anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment or prevention of vaso-occlusive events currently exist. Among individuals with SCD, asthma is a comorbid inflammatory condition that increases the risk of pain episodes, acute chest syndrome and death. Inflammation associated with asthma could augment the proinflammatory state of SCD, increasing episodes of vaso-occlusion. Leukotrienes are inflammatory mediators that play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of asthma and have been associated with SCD-related morbidity. Targeting inflammatory mediators, such as leukotrienes, is a promising approach for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of SCD. This review will examine the relationship between inflammation and vaso-occlusion, with particular focus on the leukotriene pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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