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Nitric oxide impacts source of sickle cell pain crisis
Date:5/9/2011

ickle-shape. At that point, red blood cells also become uncharacteristically sticky.

They found nitric oxide reduced the length of the unnatural hemoglobin strands, made the strands more fragile and, using a high-powered confocal microscope, they could see it also helped cells regain a more normal shape. Studies were done on human cells in vitro.

Next steps include fine-tuning the dose and learning more about why red blood cells become sticky. Head notes that with a gas, it's a lot more tricky to determine how much drug gets into the blood than with an oral or intravenous delivery. They already have evidence that in sickle cell disease red and white blood cells stick together, which they should not.

They believe their findings about how these cells clog up vessels will have broad applications for a number of clot-based conditions, including the increased clot risk that follows surgery. "Really what we are learning is the basic understanding of early clot formation," Head said.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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