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J Immunol. 1997 Feb 1;158(3):1361-9.

Chemoattractant cross-desensitization of the human neutrophil IL-8 receptor involves receptor internalization and differential receptor subtype regulation.

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  • 1Applied Pharmacology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


Human neutrophils undergo rapid homologous receptor desensitization following repeated stimulation with chemoattractants such as IL-8, C5a, and FMLP. It has also been demonstrated that cross-desensitization among these chemoattractant receptors occurs. We investigated the mechanisms underlying the cross-desensitization of responses to IL-8 induced by pretreatment with FMLP or C5a. In [125I]-labeled IL-8 binding studies we found that the cross-desensitization induced by FMLP or C5a was associated with a subsequent reduction in IL-8 binding to neutrophils. There was no recovery of [125I]-labeled IL-8 binding on removal of the C5a or FMLP pretreatment. FACS analysis using mAbs specific for the two IL-8R subtypes showed differential regulation of IL-8R A and IL-8R B cell surface expression after chemoattractant pretreatment. Homologous desensitization by IL-8 resulted in internalization of IL-8R A and IL-8R B, but only IL-8R A was completely re-expressed after removal of agonist. FMLP stimulation led to a substantial loss of IL-8R B from the cell surface, whereas C5a stimulation induced only a partial loss. In both cases there was no re-expression of IL-8R B on removal of the chemoattractant stimulation. C5a and FMLP did not affect IL-8R A expression. Calcium mobilization studies using melanoma growth stimulatory activity and IL-8 suggest that a sustained loss of IL-8R B may play a part in maintaining FMLP-induced IL-8R cross-desensitization. Chemoattractant-induced cross-desensitization of neutrophils may be of importance in regulating neutrophil accumulation during the inflammatory response in vivo.

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