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Cytokine. 2012 Oct;60(1):302-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.05.017. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Plasma BDNF and PDGF-AA levels are associated with high TCD velocity and stroke in children with sickle cell anemia.

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Genomics and Hemoglobinopathies Training Program, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Erratum in

  • Cytokine. 2013 Apr;62(1):174.


Sickle cell anemia (SCA) associated cerebrovascular disease includes vascular remodeling, abnormal cerebral blood flow (CBF) and infarction. We studied the relationships between plasma brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), platelet derived growth factors (PDGF-AA and -AB/BB) and high trans-cranial Doppler (TCD) velocity, an indication of CBF velocity. Baseline plasma samples from 39 children (19 SCA with abnormal/high TCD [SATCD], 13 SCA with normal TCD [SNTCD] and 7 healthy non-SCA), were assayed for BDNF, PDGF-AA and -AB/BB plus 11 other cytokines. The sensitivity, specificity and usefulness of these biomarkers for stroke prediction was investigated. All subject groups were of similar age and gender distribution. Mean BDNF was significantly higher among SATCD than SNTCD (p=0.004) as was mean PDGF-AA (p=0.001). Similarly, mean PDGF-AA was higher among SCA subjects who developed stroke than those who did not (p=0.012). Elevated BDNF and PDGF-AA were good predictors of the presence of abnormally high CBF velocity and were both associated with severity of anemia. Elevated PDGF-AA predicted risk for stroke development. Stroke incidence and high TCD velocity were associated with elevated BDNF and PDGF-AA. These findings suggest a role for BDNF and PDGF-AA in the patho-physiological mechanism of cerebrovascular disease in SCA.

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