Plasma annexin A5 and microparticle phosphatidylserine levels are elevated in sickle cell disease and increase further during painful crisis.Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009; 390(1):161-4BB
Expression of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the membrane surface of red blood cells and circulating microparticles (MP) plays an important role in etiology of the hypercoagulable state of sickle cell disease (SCD), as well as in the reduced red cell life span and adhesive interactions between red cells and endothelium. Annexin A5, an intracellular protein abundantly present in endothelial cells and platelets, exhibits high affinity for PS and has been shown to inhibit several of these PS-mediated pathophysiological processes. We determined plasma annexin A5 levels and MP-associated procoagulant activity, a measure of MP-PS exposure, in 17 sickle cell patients (12 HbSS and 5 HbSC) in steady state and at presentation with a painful crisis. Twenty-five HbAA blood donors served as controls. Both annexin A5 and MP-PS were highest in HbSS patients (5.7 ng/mL, IQR 3.7-7.6 and 37.9 nM, IQR 31.9-69.8) as compared to HbSC patients (1.8 ng/mL, IQR 1.7-7.6 and 20.9 nM, IQR 10.9-29.6) and healthy controls (2.5 ng/mL, IQR 1.4-4.4 and 13.1 nM, IQR 9.5-18.5) (p=0.01 and p<0.001, respectively). At presentation with a painful crisis, annexin A5 and MP-PS had increased in 16 of 17 patients (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). Most interestingly, in 7 HbSS patients the proportional increase in MP-PS exposure was higher than the proportional increase in plasma annexin A5 concentration, leading to lower annexin A5/MP-PS ratio of HbSS patients during crisis than HbAA controls (0.0027 (0.0017-0.0049) vs 0.0048 (0.0027-0.0085), p=0.05). In conclusion, patients with SCD have elevated plasma levels of annexin A5- and PS-exposing MP. During crisis both levels increase, but in most HbSS patients MP-PS exposure increases more than annexin A5. Future studies must address a potential role of annexin A5 in modulating PS-related pathophysiological processes in SCD.