The initial step in extravasation of neutrophils (polymorphonuclear leukocytes [PMNs]) to the extravascular space is adherence to the endothelium. We examined the effect of oxidants on this process by treating human endothelial cells with H2O2, t-butylhydroperoxide, or menadione. This resulted in a surface adhesive for PMN between 1 and 4 h after exposure. The oxidants needed to be present only for a brief period at the initiation of the assay. Adhesion was an endothelial cell-dependent process that did not require an active response from the PMN. The adhesive molecule was not platelet-activating factor, which mediates PMN adherence when endothelial cells are briefly exposed to higher concentrations of H2O2 (Lewis, M. S., R. E. Whatley, P. Cain, T. M. McIntyre, S. M. Prescott, and G. A. Zimmerman. 1988. J. Clin. Invest. 82:2045-2055), nor was it ELAM-1, an adhesive glycoprotein induced by cytokines. Oxidant-induced adhesion did not require protein synthesis, was inhibited by antioxidants, and, when peroxides were the oxidants, was inhibited by intracellular iron chelators. Granule membrane protein-140 (GMP-140) is a membrane-associated glycoprotein that can be translocated from its intracellular storage pool to the surface of endothelial cells where it acts as a ligand for PMN adhesion (Geng, J.-G., M. P. Bevilacqua, K. L. Moore, T. M. McIntyre, S. M. Prescott, J. M. Kim, G. A. Bliss, G. A. Zimmerman, and R. P. McEver. 1990. Nature (Lond). 343:757-760). We found that endothelial cells exposed to oxidants expressed GMP-140 on their surface, and that an mAb against GMP-140 or solubilized GMP-140 completely blocked PMN adherence to oxidant-treated endothelial cells. Thus, exposure of endothelial cells to oxygen radicals induces the prolonged expression of GMP-140 on the cell surface, which results in enhanced PMN adherence.

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