Objective: The junctional adhesion molecule (JAM)-A on endothelium contributes to the inflammatory recruitment of mononuclear cells involving engagement of its integrin receptor lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1. It is unknown whether these functions can be inhibited by soluble forms of JAM-A, whether JAM-A is expressed on atherosclerotic endothelium, and whether it participates in atherogenic recruitment of mononuclear cells.
Methods and results: Adhesion assays revealed that LFA-1-mediated binding of mononuclear cells to intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 or cytokine-costimulated endothelium was dose-dependently inhibited by soluble JAM-A.Fc (sJAM-A.Fc). Similarly, sJAM-A.Fc reduced stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1alpha-triggered transendothelial chemotaxis of activated T cells and their SDF-1alpha-triggered arrest on cytokine-costimulated endothelium under flow conditions. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed an upregulation of JAM-A on early atherosclerotic endothelium of carotid arteries from apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice fed an atherogenic diet. In ex vivo perfusion assays, pretreatment of mononuclear cells with sJAM-A.Fc inhibited their very late antigen (VLA)-4-independent accumulation on atherosclerotic endothelium of these arteries.
Conclusions: Soluble forms of JAM-A can be effectively applied to inhibit distinct steps of mononuclear cell recruitment on inflamed or atherosclerotic endothelium. In conjunction with its expression on atherosclerotic endothelium, this suggests a functional contribution of JAM-A to atherogenesis.