Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Promotes Paracellular Transmigration of Neutrophils Via Mac-1, But Independently of Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Receptor
Background—Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) has recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. The underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear.
Methods and Results—Using in vivo microscopy on the mouse cremaster muscle, I/R-elicited firm adherence and transmigration of neutrophils were found to be significantly diminished in uPA-deficient mice and in mice treated with the uPA inhibitor WX-340, but not in uPA receptor (uPAR)–deficient mice. Interestingly, postischemic leukocyte responses were significantly reduced on blockade of the integrin CD11b/Mac-1, which also serves as uPAR receptor. Using a cell transfer technique, postischemic adherence and transmigration of wild-type leukocytes were significantly decreased in uPA-deficient animals, whereas uPA-deficient leukocytes exhibited a selectively reduced transmigration in wild-type animals. On I/R or stimulation with recombinant uPA, >90% of firmly adherent leukocytes colocalized with CD31-immunoreactive endothelial junctions as detected by in vivo fluorescence microscopy. In a model of hepatic I/R, treatment with WX-340 significantly attenuated postischemic neutrophil infiltration and tissue injury.
Conclusions—Our data suggest that endothelial uPA promotes intravascular adherence, whereas leukocyte uPA facilitates the subsequent paracellular transmigration of neutrophils during I/R. This process is regulated via CD11b/Mac-1, and does not require uPAR. Pharmacological blockade of uPA interferes with these events and effectively attenuates postischemic tissue injury.
- Received December 27, 2010.
- Accepted August 23, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.