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Shock. 2011 Mar;35(3):240-4. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3181faceb3.

Leukotriene b4 and its metabolites prime the neutrophil oxidase and induce proinflammatory activation of human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells.

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The Department of Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, Colorado, USA.


Leukotrienes are proinflammatory lipid mediators, derived from arachidonic acid via 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is an effective polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) chemoattractant, as well as being a major product of PMN priming. Leukotriene B4 is rapidly metabolized into products that are thought to be inactive, and little is known about the effects of LTB4 on the pulmonary endothelium. We hypothesize that LTB4 and its metabolites are effective PMN priming agents and cause proinflammatory activation of pulmonary endothelial cells. Isolated PMNs were primed (5 min, 37°C) with serial concentrations 10 to 10 M of LTB4 and its metabolites: 6-trans-LTB4, 20-OH-LTB4, and 20-COOH-LTB4, and then activated with fMLP. Primary human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) were incubated with these lipids (6 h, 37°C, 5% CO2), and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 was measured by flow cytometry. Polymorphonuclear neutrophil adhesion was measured by myeloperoxidase assays, and to ensure that these reactions were specific to the LTB4 receptors, BLT1 and BLT2 were antagonized with CP105,696 (BLT1) or silenced with siRNA (BLT1 and BLT2). Leukotriene B4 and its metabolites primed PMNs over a wide range of concentrations, depending on the specific metabolite. In addition, at high concentrations these lipids also caused increases in the surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 on HMVECs and induced HMVEC-mediated adhesion of PMNs. Silencing of BLT2 abrogated HMVEC activation, and blockade of BLT1 inhibited the observed PMN priming activity. We conclude that LTB4 and its ω-oxidation and nonenzymatic metabolites prime PMNs over a range of concentrations and activate HMVECs. These data have expanded the repertoire of causative agents in acute lung injury and postinjury multiple organ failure.

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