Background: The antiallergic and antiasthmatic drug disodium cromoglycate (DSCG) has also demonstrated an activity against sickle cell disease, but the mechanism of this action still remains unknown. Methods: Na+ and K+ fluxes were studied in red cells obtained from 9 patients affected with sickle cell disease in the absence or in the presence of 1 mM of DSCG and deoxygenated under an N2 flow during up to 24 h. Results: A significant inhibiting effect of DSCG on the intracellular K+ exit and the Na+ entry was observed. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that DSCG partially inhibits the abnormal K+ loss which is implicated in the dehydration of the sickle cell and the stimulation of sickling.

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