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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):H2786-98. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

A role for ICAM-1 in maintenance of leukocyte-endothelial cell rolling interactions in inflamed arterioles.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


A key endothelial receptor in leukocyte-endothelial cell (EC) interactions is ICAM-1. ICAM-1 is constitutively expressed at low levels on vascular ECs, and its levels significantly increase following stimulation with many proinflammatory agents. This study provides evidence that in inflamed arterioles of anesthetized mice (65 mg/kg ip Nembutal), ICAM-1 mediates leukocyte rolling, in contrast to its expected role of mediating firm adhesion in venules. The number of leukocytes rolling on arteriolar ECs is decreased in ICAM-1 knockout (KO) compared with wild-type (WT) mice (KO, 6.0 +/- 0.9; WT, 12.0 +/- 1.0 leukocytes/40 s; P < 0.05), whereas the leukocyte-rolling number in venules remains unaffected (KO, 5.6 +/- 0.9; WT, 7.0 +/- 0.7 leukocytes/40 s; n = 13-15 sites). We also show that the fraction of leukocytes that is rolling on arteriolar ECs does so with a higher characteristic velocity (>70 microm/s), and, furthermore, that the distance over which rolling contacts with the arteriolar wall are maintained is ICAM-1 dependent. In ICAM-1 KO animals or in WT mice in the presence of ICAM-1-blocking antibody, leukocytes rolled significantly shorter distances over the sampled 200-microm vessel length compared with WT (68 +/- 6.7 and 55 +/- 9.4 vs. 85 +/- 12.9% total, respectively, n = 4 sites, P < 0.05). We also found evidence that in ICAM-1 KO mice, a significant fraction of leukocyte rolling and adhesive interactions with arteriolar ECs could be accounted for by upregulation of another adhesion molecule, VCAM-1, providing an important illustration of how expression of related proteins can be altered following genetic ablatement of a target molecule (in this case ICAM-1).

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