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Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 May 5;682(1-3):181-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2012.02.022. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Rho-kinase regulates adhesive and mechanical mechanisms of pulmonary recruitment of neutrophils in abdominal sepsis.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Surgery, Malmö, Lund University, 20502 Malmö, Sweden.


We hypothesized that Rho-kinase signaling plays a role in mechanical and adhesive mechanisms of neutrophil accumulation in lung. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 prior to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Lung levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and histological tissue damage were determined 6h and 24h after CLP. Expression of Mac-1 and F-actin formation in neutrophils were quantified by using flow cytometry 6h after CLP. Mac-1 expression and F-actin formation were also determined in isolated neutrophils up to 3h after stimulation with CXCL2. Labeled and activated neutrophils co-incubated with Y-27632, an anti-Mac-1 antibody and cytochalasin B were adoptively transferred to CLP mice. Y-27632 reduced the CLP-induced pulmonary injury and MPO activity as well as Mac-1 on neutrophils. Neutrophil F-actin formation peaked at 6h and returned to baseline levels 24h after CLP induction. Rho-kinase inhibition decreased CLP-provoked F-actin formation in neutrophils. CXCL2 rapidly increased Mac-1 expression and F-actin formation in neutrophils. Co-incubation with Y-27632 abolished CXCL2-induced Mac-1 up-regulation and formation of F-actin in neutrophils. Notably, co-incubation with cytochalasin B inhibited formation of F-actin but did not reduce Mac-1 expression on activated neutrophils. Adoptive transfer experiments revealed that co-incubation of neutrophils with the anti-Mac-1 antibody or cytochalasin B significantly decreased pulmonary accumulation of neutrophils in septic mice. Our data show that targeting Rho-kinase effectively reduces neutrophil recruitment and tissue damage in abdominal sepsis. Moreover, these findings demonstrate that Rho-kinase-dependent neutrophil accumulation in septic lung injury is regulated by both adhesive and mechanical mechanisms.

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