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scientific articles

Cannabinoid receptor-specific mechanisms to alleviate pain in sickle cell anemia via inhibition of mast cell activation and neurogenic inflammation

key information

source: Haematologica

year: 2016

authors: Lucile Vincent, Derek Vang, Julia Nguyen, Barbara Benson, Jianxun Lei, Kalpna Gupta

summary/abstract:

Sickle cell anemia is a manifestation of a single point mutation in hemoglobin, but inflammation and pain are the insignia of this disease which can start in infancy and continue throughout life. Earlier studies showed that mast cell activation contributes to neurogenic inflammation and pain in sickle mice. Morphine is the common analgesic treatment but also remains a major challenge due to its side effects and ability to activate mast cells. We, therefore, examined cannabinoid receptor-specific mechanisms to mitigate mast cell activation, neurogenic inflammation and hyperalgesia, using HbSS-BERK sickle and cannabinoid receptor-2-deleted sickle mice. We show that cannabinoids mitigate mast cell activation, inflammation and neurogenic inflammation in sickle mice via both cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2. Thus, cannabinoids influence systemic and neural mechanisms, ameliorating the disease pathobiology and hyperalgesia in sickle mice. This study provides ‘proof of principle’ for the potential of cannabinoid/cannabinoid receptor-based therapeutics to treat several manifestations of sickle cell anemia.

organization: University of Minnesota, USA

DOI: 10.3324/haematol.2015.136523

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