Placenta growth factor in sickle cell disease: Association with hemolysis and inflammation

Julia E. Brittain, Ben Hulkower, Susan K. Jones, Dell Strayhorn, Laura De Castro, Marilyn J. Telen, Eugene P. Orringer, Alan Hinderliter, Kenneth I. Ataga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Placenta growth factor (PIGF) is released by immature erythrocytes and is elevated in sickle cell disease (SCD). Previous data generated in vitro suggest that PlGF may play a role in the pathophysiology of SCD-associated pulmonary hypertension (PHT) by inducing the release of the vasoconstrictor, endothelin-1. In this crosssectional study of 74 patients with SCD, we confirm that PlGF is significantly elevated in SCD compared with healthy control subjects. We found significantly higher levels of PlGF in SCD patients with PHT but observed no association of PlGF with the frequency of acute pain episodes or history of acute chest syndrome. The observed correlation between PlGF and various measures of red cell destruction suggests that hemolysis, and the resultant erythropoietic response, results in the up-regulation of PlGF. Although relatively specific, PlGF, as well as N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule, has low predictive accuracy for the presence of PHT. Prospective studies are required to conclusively define the contribution of PlGF to the pathogenesis of PHT and other hemolytic complications in SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2014-2020
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 11 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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