Anemia falciforme

Pain-related behaviors and neurochemical alterations in mice expressing sickle hemoglobin: modulation by cannabinoids.


Sickle cell disease causes severe pain. We examined pain-related behaviors, correlative neurochemical changes, and analgesic effects of morphine and cannabinoids in transgenic mice expressing human sickle hemoglobin (HbS). Paw withdrawal threshold and withdrawal latency (to mechanical and thermal stimuli, respectively) and grip force were lower in homozygous and hemizygous Berkley mice (BERK and hBERK1, respectively) compared with control mice expressing human hemoglobin A (HbA-BERK), indicating deep/musculoskeletal and cutaneous hyperalgesia. Peripheral nerves and blood vessels were structurally altered in BERK and hBERK1 skin, with decreased expression of mu opioid receptor and increased calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P immunoreactivity.

Cannabis use in sickle cell disease: a questionnaire study.


Cannabinoids are increasingly being considered for the management of various painful conditions, and could be considered as an option for treating acute pain in sickle cell disease (SCD). The objective of this study was to determine the extent of use of cannabis in the community for pain and other symptom relief, and its side effects during self-administration in patients with SCD. Patients attending Central Middlesex Hospital in London were invited to complete a structured self-administered anonymous questionnaire. Eighty-six young adults with HbSS, HbSC and HbSbetathalassaemia disease (median age 30 years) participated in the study. Results showed that 31 (36%) had used cannabis in the previous 12 months to relieve symptoms associated with SCD.