Enhanced splenomegaly and severe liver inflammation in haptoglobin/hemopexin double-null mice after acute hemolysis.

PMID 12393471


Intravascular hemolysis is associated with several pathologic conditions that include hemoglobinopathies, trauma, malaria, and bacterial infections. Among plasma-protective proteins against oxidative damage caused by red blood cell rupture, haptoglobin and hemopexin are thought to play a crucial role. Haptoglobin and hemopexin, by binding with high-affinity hemoglobin and heme, respectively, exert an antioxidant action by preventing heme-catalyzed free radical production. Moreover, these proteins prevent iron loss by inhibiting glomerular filtration of hemoglobin and heme diffusion through plasma membranes. Analysis of single-null mice demonstrated the antioxidant action of haptoglobin and hemopexin in vivo and suggests that the 2 proteins cooperate in the resolution of hemolytic stress. To evaluate the physiological relevance of the haptoglobin-hemopexin system and the principal targets of its action, we generated haptoglobin-hemopexin double-knockout mice and analyzed them under basal conditions and after acute hemolysis. Whereas haptoglobin-hemopexin double-null mice displayed no obvious alteration in phenotype under basal conditions, nonlethal hemolytic stress in these animals led to pronounced splenomegaly as well as liver inflammation and fibrosis. These data demonstrate that haptoglobin and hemopexin together are essential for protection from splenomegaly and liver fibrosis resulting from intravascular hemolysis.

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Phenylhydrazine hydrochloride, ≥99%
C6H8N2 · HCl