Impairment of neutrophil oxidative burst in children with sickle cell disease is associated with heme oxygenase-1.

Evans, C; Orf, K; Horvath, E; Levin, M; De La Fuente, J; Chakravorty, S; Cunnington, AJ; (2015) Impairment of neutrophil oxidative burst in children with sickle cell disease is associated with heme oxygenase-1. Haematologica. ISSN 0390-6078 DOI:

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Sickle cell disease is a risk factor for invasive bacterial infections, and splenic dysfunction is believed to be the main underlying cause. We have previously shown that the liberation of heme in acute hemolysis can induce heme oxygenase-1 during granulopoiesis, impairing the ability of developing neutrophils to mount a bactericidal oxidative burst, and increasing susceptibility to bacterial infection. We hypothesised that this may also occur with the chronic hemolysis of sickle cell disease, potentially contributing to susceptibility to infections. We found that neutrophil oxidative burst activity was significantly lower in treatment-naive children with sickle cell disease compared to age-, gender- and ethnicity-matched controls, whilst degranulation was similar. The defect in neutrophil oxidative burst was quantitatively related to both systemic heme oxygenase-1 activity (assessed by carboxyhemoglobin concentration) and neutrophil mobilization. A distinct population of heme oxygenase-1-expressing cells was present in the bone marrow of children with sickle cell disease, but not in healthy children, with a surface marker profile consistent with neutrophil progenitors (CD49dHi CD24Lo CD15Int CD16Int CD11b+/-). Incubation of promyelocytic HL-60 cells with the heme oxygenase-1 substrate and inducer, hemin, demonstrated that heme oxygenase-1 induction during neutrophilic differentiation could reduce oxidative burst capacity. These findings indicate that impairment of neutrophil oxidative burst activity in sickle cell disease is associated with hemolysis and heme oxygenase-1 expression. Neutrophil dysfunction might contribute to risk of infection in sickle cell disease, and measurement of neutrophil oxidative burst might be used to identify patients at greatest risk of infection, who might benefit from enhanced prophylaxis.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
PubMed ID: 26315932
Web of Science ID: 365777900014


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