There is growing evidence that extracellular haemoglobin and haem mediate inflammatory and oxidative damage in sickle cell disease. Haptoglobin (Hp), the scavenger for free haemoglobin, is depleted in most patients with sickle cell disease due to chronic haemolysis. Although single infusions of Hp can ameliorate vaso-occlusion in mouse models of sickle cell disease, prior studies have not examined the therapeutic benefits of more chronic Hp dosing on sickle cell disease manifestations. In the present study, we explored the effect of Hp treatment over a 3-month period in sickle mice at two dosing regimens: the first at a moderate dose of 200 mg/kg thrice weekly and the second at a higher dose of 400 mg/kg thrice weekly. We found that only the higher dosing regimen resulted in increased haem-oxygenase-1 and heavy chain ferritin (H-ferritin) expression and decreased iron deposition in the kidney. Despite the decreased kidney iron deposition following Hp treatment, there was no significant improvement in kidney function. However, there was a nearly significant trend towards decreased liver infarction.
- free haemoglobin
- sickle cell disease