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Pharmacol Rev. 2000 Sep;52(3):349-74.

Neutrophil migration mechanisms, with an emphasis on the pulmonary vasculature.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Leukocyte trafficking into pulmonary tissue and airspaces is a critical component of the host defense response. Activation and migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into lungs also contribute to inflammatory tissue injury and remodeling of tissue architecture. There have been considerable advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that control PMN adhesion and transendothelial migration (TEM). Mechanisms of migration unique to the lungs have been described with regard to the profile of adhesion molecules, cytokines, and chemokines elicited during PMN emigration from blood vessels. This work reviews general mechanisms of TEM of PMNs and discusses the nature of PMN recruitment in several models of airway inflammation that illustrate how various stimuli elicit different responses. Pharmacologic manipulation of adhesive interactions between PMNs and endothelial cells is a current area of research aimed at developing pharmacologic agents to control inflammation during pulmonary and other inflammatory diseases. A summary of some of these agents and their actions is presented.

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