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J Immunol. 1998 Aug 15;161(4):1930-8.

CXCR1 and CXCR2 are rapidly down-modulated by bacterial endotoxin through a unique agonist-independent, tyrosine kinase-dependent mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The expression of the seven-transmembrane domain chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 modulates neutrophil responsiveness to the chemoattractant IL-8 and a number of closely related CXC chemokines. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism by which bacterial LPS induces the down-modulation of IL-8 responsiveness and CXCR1 and CXCR2 expression on human neutrophils. Treating neutrophils with LPS reduced IL-8R expression to 55 +/- 5% of the control within 30 min and to 23 +/- 2% within 1 h of stimulation. Furthermore, this down-modulation could not be attributed to increased concentrations of IL-8, TNF-alpha, or IL-1beta, since ELISA studies indicated that LPS-stimulated neutrophils did not release detectable amounts of these proteins before 2 h poststimulation. The tyrosine kinase (TK) inhibitors genistein and herbimycin A attenuated the LPS-mediated down-modulation of CXCR1 and CXCR2, indicating that the activation of a TK is required for LPS to mediate its effect. The effect of LPS on receptor expression paralleled the hyperphosphorylation of the protein TK p72syk. Although IL-8 induced a comparable down-modulation of CXCR1 and CXCR2, TK inhibitors did not attenuate this effect. These studies provide the first evidence of an agonist-independent, TK-dependent pathway of chemokine receptor regulation by endotoxin.

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