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J Clin Invest. Oct 1993; 92(4): 1722–1729.
PMCID: PMC288332

Crystal-induced neutrophil activation. IV. Specific inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation by colchicine.


We recently demonstrated that pathologically relevant inflammatory microcrystals, namely triclinic monosodium urate (MSU) and calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals, potently stimulate a characteristic protein tyrosine phosphorylation pattern in human neutrophils that differed from that observed in response to other soluble or particulate agonists. In this study, the effects of colchicine on protein tyrosine phosphorylation induced by MSU and CPPD crystals in human blood neutrophils were investigated. Immunoblot analysis with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies demonstrated that colchicine dose-dependently inhibited the tyrosine phosphorylation of all the proteins phosphorylated in response to MSU and CPPD crystals. Other microtubule-disruptive agents such as vinblastine, nocodazole, and colcemid also inhibited crystal-induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation while lumicolchicine and trimethylcolchicinic acid were without effect. Indomethacin and phenylbutazone were similarly without effect on microcrystal-induced tyrosine phosphorylation. Colchicine, as well as the other active alkaloids, failed to inhibit the protein tyrosine phosphorylation elicited by FMLP, C5a, leukotriene B4, and unopsonized zymosan. Overall, these results demonstrate that colchicine specifically and significantly inhibits the protein tyrosine phosphorylation induced by MSU and CPPD crystals and suggest that its effects are associated, at least in part, with its interaction with microtubules. Furthermore, the use of microtubule-disrupting drugs demonstrate that the mechanisms implicated in the induction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation by microcrystals differed from those involved in response to other soluble or particulate agonists.

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