Activated peripheral blood and endothelial cells in thalassemia patients

D. S. Kyriakou, M. G. Alexandrakis, E. S. Kyriakou, D. Liapi, T. V. Kourelis, F. Passam, A. Papadakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Thalassemia patients have alterations in the expression of some activation and adhesion molecules on peripheral blood lymphocytes. We studied cell surface antigens on peripheral blood cells associated with the activation of these cells and soluble molecules produced by activated endothelium. Design and methods: We investigated the expression of CD11b, CD18, CD35, CD43, CD44, and CD69 on the peripheral blood monocytes, Cd11b, CD18, CD35, CD43, CD44, CD67 on peripheral blood neutrophils and CD38 and CD69 on peripheral blood lymphocytes. We studied 68 transfusion-dependent thalassemics (group A), 10 transfusion non-dependent thalassemics (group B), 18 β-thalassemia carriers (group C), and 28 normal individuals. Relative fluorescence intensity was used to determine the antigen density. Analysis was performed with an EPICS ELITE flow cytometer. Furthermore, soluble intercelullar adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), and E-selectin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and interleukin (IL) 1β were measured in the plasma of patients by enzyme-linked immunometric assay. Results: The expression of CD11b, CD18, and CD69 on the monocytes of group A was significantly greater than in groups B and C and in controls, while CD44 was significantly downregulated in group A. CD11b, CD18, CD35, CD44, and CD67 on the surface of neutrophils and CD38 and CD69 on the surface of lymphocytes were also overexpressed in group A. CD44 was downregulated on the monocytes and upregulated on the neutrophils of the patients compared to controls. The levels of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, E-selectin, TNF-α, and IL-1β in the serum of patients in groups A and B were higher than those in group C and the controls. Conclusion: Endothelial activation markers are significantly increased in thalassemia patients, and activated blood cells circulate in the peripheral blood. These may be related to the vascular complications in these patients and might be useful markers for the follow-up of the vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of hematology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


  • Activation molecules
  • Adhesion molecules
  • Thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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