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J Immunol. 2013 Jul 15;191(2):848-56. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202941. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Neutrophil recruitment to the lung in both C5a- and CXCL1-induced alveolitis is impaired in vitamin D-binding protein-deficient mice.

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Department of Pathology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.


Knowledge of how neutrophils respond to chemotactic signals in a complex inflammatory environment is not completely understood. Moreover, even less is known about factors in physiological fluids that regulate the activity of chemoattractants. The vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) has been shown to significantly enhance chemotaxis to complement activation peptide C5a using purified proteins in vitro, and by ex vivo depletion of DBP in physiological fluids, but this function has not been determined in vivo. DBP null ((-/-)) mice were used to investigate how a systemic absence of this plasma protein affects leukocyte recruitment in alveolitis models of lung inflammation. DBP(-/-) mice had significantly reduced (~50%) neutrophil recruitment to the lungs compared with their wild-type DBP(+/+) counterparts in three different alveolitis models, two acute and one chronic. The histology of DBP(-/-) mouse lungs also showed significantly less injury than wild-type animals. The chemotactic cofactor function of DBP appears to be selective for neutrophil recruitment, but, in contrast to previous in vitro results, in vivo DBP can enhance the activity of other chemoattractants, including CXCL1. The reduced neutrophil response in DBP(-/-) mice could be rescued to wild-type levels by administering exogenous DBP. Finally, in inflammatory fluids, DBP binds to G-actin released from damaged cells, and this complex may be the active chemotactic cofactor. To our knowledge, results show for the first time that DBP is a significant chemotactic cofactor in vivo and not specific for C5a, suggesting that this ubiquitous plasma protein may have a more significant role in neutrophil recruitment than previously recognized.

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