Polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) accumulation within damaged tissues, a hallmark of acute inflammation, is dependent upon initial adhesion to endothelial cells. In vitro studies suggest that P-selectin and platelet activating factor (PAF) are key molecules in this process by promoting the initial adhesion of PMN to endothelial cells. We report in vivo studies in which intravenous administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to anesthetized rats caused a very rapid onset (< 5 min) of neutropenia, in association with induction of surface expression of P-selectin on microvascular endothelial cells in kidney, liver and lung; analogous induction of P-selectin expression by cultured endothelial cells was observed in response to LPS stimulation in vitro. In addition, treatment with an antibody (Ab) to P-selectin (or use of a PAF antagonist) blocked development of neutropenia in vivo for at least 15 min post-LPS injection, and Ab treatment was shown to block PMN accumulation in tissues. These studies document roles for P-selectin and PAF in the early adhesion of PMN to endothelial cells in vivo.

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