Polymerization of human sickle cell haemoglobin (HbS) in the presence of three antimalarial drugs

Author(s): Chikezie PC, Chikezie CM, Amaragbulem PI


To study the capacity of antimalarial drugs to interfere with polymerization of sickle cell haemoglobin (HbS), in vitro polymerization was induced by incubating erythrocyte haemolysate of HbS with 2 g% sodium metabisulphite (Na2S2O5) in the presence of 2 mg% concentration of three (3) separate antimalarial drugs (CoartemTM, Quinine, and Chloroquine phosphate). Spectrophotometric method was used to ascertain the level of polymerization of HbS at a regular interval of 30 seconds for a period of 180 seconds at extinction coefficient (λmax) of 700nm. The level of polymerization was expressed in percentage of the absorbance of control sample at the 180th second. The three antimalarial drugs caused significant (p<0.05) reduction in HbS polymerization in the following ranges: CoartemTM (17.05-31.07%), Quinine (13.95-28.85%) and Chloroquine phosphate (10.85-33.01%). These results indicated the feasibility of the three drugs to retard HbS polymerization and as apparent potential candidates for therapy and management of sickle cell disease.

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