Sickle cell vasoocclusion: Heterotypic, multicellular aggregations driven by leukocyte adhesion

Paul S. Frenette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Homozygous expression of sickle β-globin alters the function of blood cells and the endothelium, producing a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Intravital microscopy studies in sickle cell mice suggest that vasoocclusion is a complex, sequential, multistep phenomenon involving (1) endothelial activation by sickle erythrocyte (SSRBC), (2) leukocyte (WBC) adhesion to the endothelium, and (3) the direct interaction between SSRBCs and adherent WBCs, which leads to reduced blood flow and tissue ischemia. Each of these steps represents a potentially useful therapeutic target. The identification of molecular determinants mediating vasoocclusion will provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of this debilitating illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelial cell
  • Platelet
  • Red blood cell
  • Sickle cell crisis
  • White blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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