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Pediatr Res. 2000 Sep;48(3):283-8.

Surfactant modulates intracellular signaling of the adhesion receptor L-selectin.

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Department of Pediatrics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 150, Heidelberg, Germany.


Intraalveolar leukocyte accumulation is one of the hallmarks during respiratory distress. In the intraalveolar space, leukocyte activation is mediated by pathogens, cytokines, and different ligands binding to adhesion molecules. Leukocyte stimulation via the adhesion molecule L-selectin is specifically induced by ligands expressed on leukocytes, platelets, endothelial cells, or lipopolysaccharide. Recently, we have demonstrated that leukocyte activation by L-selectin transmits several intracellular signaling cascades resulting in capping and cytoskeletal changes, the activation of kinases and neutral sphingomyelinase, the recruitment of adaptor proteins to the cell membrane, the activation of the small G-proteins Ras and Rac, and the release of oxygen. In the present study, we examined the effects of surfactant on L-selectin-induced signal transduction in leukocytes. Using fluorescence microscopy, we provide evidence that preincubation of leukocytes with surfactant significantly inhibits receptor capping; 28+/-7% of cells show capping after L-selectin stimulation versus 8+/-5% and 3+/-1% of cells after preincubation with Exosurf and Curosurf, respectively (p < 0.05). The activity of the neutral sphingomyelinase in cell lysates is also modulated by surfactant. In addition, we show that the activation of the tyrosine kinase p56lck is diminished by approximately 50% after surfactant treatment. This results in inhibition in tyrosine phosphorylation of certain intracellular proteins. The interaction of the L-selectin molecule with its antibody was not influenced by surfactant as shown by flow cytometry. Surfactant inhibits intracellular signaling events of the L-selectin receptor in leukocytes and might therefore contribute to the modulatory effects of surfactant on immune function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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