Reduced intracellular oxidative metabolism promotes firm adhesion of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes to vascular endothelium under flow conditions



The interaction of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) with the vascular endothelium and their subsequent extravasation to the tissues is a key step during different physiological and pathological processes. In certain of these pathologies the oxygen tension becomes very low, leading to reduced cellular oxidative status. To evaluate the effect of lowering the intracellular redox status in the interaction of PMN with the endothelium, exposure to hypoxic conditions as well as treatment with different antioxidant agents was carried out. PMN exposure to hypoxia enhanced β2 integrin-dependent adhesion to intercellular adhesion molecule-1-coated surfaces, concomitant with a decrease in the intracellular redox status of the cell. As occurs with hypoxia, treatment with antioxidants produced a decrease in the oxidation state of PMN. These agents enhanced adhesion of PMN to human umbilical vein endothelial cells stimulated with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and this effect was also mediated by β2 integrins LFA-1 and Mac-1. Adhesion studies under defined laminar flow conditions showed that the antioxidant treatment induced an enhanced adhesion mediated by β2 integrins with a decrease in the fraction of PMN rolling on TNF-α-activated endothelial cells. The up-regulated PMN adhesion was correlated to an increase in the expression and activation of integrin Mac-1, without loss of L-selectin surface expression. Altogether, these results demonstrate that a reduction in the intracellular oxidative state produces an enhanced β2 integrin-dependent adhesion of PMN to stimulated endothelial cells under conditions of flow.