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J Leukoc Biol. 1999 Nov;66(5):809-16.

alpha9beta1 integrin is expressed on human neutrophils and contributes to neutrophil migration through human lung and synovial fibroblast barriers.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Accumulation of leukocytes in inflamed tissue involves their migration through vascular endothelium and then in the connective tissue. Recently we utilized a barrier of human synovial, dermal, and lung fibroblasts (HSF, HDF, and HLF) grown on polycarbonate filters as a model of human polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) migration through connective tissue. The beta2 integrins (CD 11/ CD18) and alpha4, alpha5, and alpha6beta1 (VLA-4, -5, and -6) integrins each contributed to this PMN migration. Here we report that on human blood leukocytes, alpha9beta1 (VLA-9) is expressed only on PMNs and that it is up-regulated after PMN activation. Based on monoclonal antibody (mAb) blocking studies, alpha9beta1 integrin contributed to C5a-induced PMN migration through fibroblast (HLF and HSF) barriers. This role was apparent only when alternate mechanisms such as CD18, alpha4, alpha5, and alpha6beta1 integrins were blocked and then mAb to alpha9beta1 integrin inhibited the residual PMN migration (by 40-50%) through the HLF or HSF barrier, resulting in > or = 75% inhibition overall. In contrast, PMN migration across interleukin-1-activated endothelium (HUVEC) in response to a C5a gradient, which is partly (30-40%) via CD11/CD18-independent mechanisms, was not inhibited by adhesion blocking by mAbs to alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, and alpha9beta1 even in combination. These results indicate that alpha9beta1 integrin on PMN may have a special role, in conjunction with other beta1 integrins, in mediating PMN migration in the extravascular space, and may contribute to differential neutrophil function within tissues.

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