Heme: Modulator of Plasma Systems in Hemolytic Diseases

Lubka T. Roumenina*, Julie Rayes, Sébastien Lacroix-Desmazes, Jordan D. Dimitrov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Hemolytic diseases such as sickle-cell disease, β-thalassemia, malaria, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia continue to present serious clinical hurdles. In these diseases, lysis of erythrocytes causes the release of hemoglobin and heme into plasma. Extracellular heme has strong proinflammatory potential and activates immune cells and endothelium, thus contributing to disease pathogenesis. Recent studies have revealed that heme can interfere with the function of plasma effector systems such as the coagulation and complement cascades, in addition to the activity of immunoglobulins. Any perturbation in such functions may have severe pathological consequences. In this review we analyze heme interactions with coagulation, complement, and immunoglobulins. Deciphering such interactions to better understand the complex pathogenesis of hemolytic diseases is pivotal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-213
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Coagulation
  • Complement
  • Heme
  • Hemolytic disorders
  • Immunoglobulins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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