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Am J Pathol. 1995 Sep;147(3):688-98.

Endotoxin stimulates expression of the murine urokinase receptor gene in vivo.

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Department of Vascular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The regulation of urokinase receptor (u-PAR) gene expression during endotoxemia was studied in vivo with a murine model system. Northern blot analysis demonstrated relatively high levels of u-PAR mRNA in mouse placenta, with intermediate levels in lung and spleen and very low levels in heart and kidney. No u-PAR mRNA could be detected in liver, gut, thymus, brain, or skeletal muscle. Intraperitoneal injection of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) increased the steady-state levels of u-PAR mRNA in most tissues examined. The greatest induction (sevenfold) was observed in the lung at 1 hour after injection. The cellular localization of u-PAR mRNA was assessed by in situ hybridization. In control mice, u-PAR mRNA was detected primarily in alveolar macrophages of the lung and lymphocytes of the spleen and thymus, although a specific signal was also present in other cell types. In general, endothelial cells lacked detectable u-PAR mRNA. The induction of u-PAR mRNA by lipopolysaccharide was apparent within 30 minutes and was localized to tissue macrophages, lymphocytes, and endothelial cells lining arteries and veins. At later times (1 to 3 hours), specialized epithelial cells present in gastrointestinal tract, bile ducts, and uterus were also positive for u-PAR mRNA. Induction of u-PAR in vivo by lipopolysaccharide may facilitate the extravasation and migration of leukocytes during inflammation.

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