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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 20;276(29):26846-51. Epub 2001 Mar 1.

Role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in monocyte recruitment under flow conditions.

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  • 1Program in Cardiovascular Gene Therapy, Cardiovascular Research Center and the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Chemokines such as the monocyte chemol attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) convert monocyte rolling to firm arrest under physiological flow conditions via integrin activation and simultaneously activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Here we used adenoviral gene transfer and biochemical inhibitors to manipulate PI3K-dependent pathways in human monocytes. In in vitro lipid kinase assays from purified human monocytes, we showed that MCP-1 activates the "classical" PI3Kalpha pathway and not PI3Kgamma, a PI3K isoform thought to be activated only by the betagamma complex of heterotrimeric G proteins. The activity of PI3Kalpha in purified human monocytes was evident within 30 s. MCP-1-induced monocyte arrest was significantly inhibited both by wortmannin (n = 4; p < 0.01) and LY294002 (n = 4; p < 0.01) with restoration of the rolling phenotype (p < 0.05 for both inhibitors, compared with rolling of control monocytes after MCP-1 treatment). To test the hypothesis that activation of PI3K is sufficient to induce monocyte adhesion, we transduced the monocytic THP-1 cell line with a recombinant adenovirus (Ad) carrying a constitutively active mutant of PI3K (Ad.BD110). We examined the ability of these cells to adhere to human vascular endothelium (HUVEC) transduced with adenoviruses carrying E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and VCAM-1. Under flow conditions, ICAM-1- and VCAM-1-dependent firm adhesion of Ad.BD110-transduced THP-1 cells was enhanced compared with THP-1 cells infected with control Ad (n = 4; p < 0.01 for both). Adhesion augmented by constitutive PI3K activation was entirely abrogated by pretreatment with wortmannin (n = 3; p < 0.01). In contrast, a constitutively active Akt construct had no effect on THP-1 adhesion (n = 3; p = NS). We conclude that PI3K activation is necessary and sufficient to enhance monocytic adhesion under physiological flow conditions. BD110-expressing THP-1 cells should provide a useful tool for identifying the signaling pathways downstream of PI3K that are necessary for monocyte recruitment relevant to a variety of human vascular pathologies.

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