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J Innate Immun. 2013;5(1):2-14. doi: 10.1159/000339572. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

The major leukocyte chemotactic and activating factors in the mouse gut lumen are not N-formylpeptide receptor 1 agonists.

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  • 1Molecular Signaling Section, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Cultured bacteria release N-formylpeptides, which are potent chemoattractants for phagocytic leukocytes acting at G-protein-coupled receptors FPR1 and FPR2. However, the distribution and immunologic activity of these molecules at mucosal surfaces, where large numbers of bacteria are separated from the immune system by epithelium, remain undefined. To investigate this for the gut, we tested leukocyte responses to cell-free gut luminal contents from C57Bl/6 mice fed a chow diet. Small and large intestine contents were able to compete with labeled N-formylpeptide for binding to FPR1, indicating the presence of FPR1 ligands in the gut lumen. Material from both small and large intestine induced robust calcium flux responses by primary FPR1(+) leukocytes (mouse bone marrow cells and splenocytes and human peripheral blood neutrophils and mononuclear cells), as well as chemotactic responses by both mouse bone marrow cells and human peripheral blood neutrophils. However, unlike defined N-formylpeptides, calcium flux responses induced by gut luminal contents were insensitive both to pertussis toxin treatment of leukocytes and to proteinase K digestion of the samples. Moreover, the gut samples were fully active on neutrophils from mice lacking Fpr1, and the kinetics of the calcium flux response differed markedly for neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The active factor(s) could be dialyzed using a 3.5-kDa pore size membrane. Thus, mouse intestinal lumen contains small, potent and highly efficacious leukocyte chemotactic and activating factors that may be distinct from neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells and distinct from Fpr1 agonists.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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