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Immunol Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;82(4):435-46.

The CD11/CD18 (beta2) integrins modulate neutrophil caspase activation and survival following TNF-alpha or endotoxin induced transendothelial migration.

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Department of Pediatrics, The Dalhousie Inflammation Group, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Neutrophils (PMN) are short-lived cells but their survival is often prolonged in inflammation. The beta2 (CD11/CD18) integrins are involved in PMN migration into inflammation but their role in PMN survival is not well understood. We investigated the role of beta2 integrins in PMN caspase activation, a key enzyme cascade in apoptosis. After 20 h, caspase activation (Western blotting) was markedly decreased in PMN cultured on fibrinogen, a ligand for Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18), but not on fibronectin or albumin. In the presence of TNF-alpha or endotoxin (LPS), blockade of CD18 (beta2 chain) with mAb markedly increased caspase activation in PMN on fibrinogen. PMN which migrated through endothelium in vitro in response to TNF-alpha, LPS, IL-1alpha, IL-8 or C5a contained 58% fewer active caspase positive PMN after 20 h than non-migrated PMN remaining on the endothelium. When beta2 (CD18) integrin or lymphocyte function antigen (LFA)-1 (CD11a) plus Mac1 (CD11b) were blocked by mAb (intact or Fab'), the proportion of migrated PMN (but not of non-migrated PMN) with active caspases was significantly increased (2-4-fold) and this was associated with accelerated PMN apoptosis and death. Thus, engagement of ligands on extracellular matrix and endothelium by the beta2 integrins Mac-1 and LFA-1 plays a role in delaying apoptosis in PMN recruited in response to LPS and TNF-alpha. Inhibition of beta2 integrin function may not only inhibit PMN infiltration, but also accelerate PMN clearance from inflamed tissue.

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