Neutrophil migration across a cultured intestinal epithelium. Dependence on a CD11b/CD18-mediated event and enhanced efficiency in physiological direction

J Clin Invest. 1991 Nov;88(5):1605-12. doi: 10.1172/JCI115473.


Neutrophils (PMN) migrate across intestinal epithelia in many disease states. Although such migration serves as a histological index of disease activity, little is known concerning the molecular events underlying PMN-intestinal epithelial interactions. We have studied chemotactic peptide-driven movement of PMN across cultured monolayers of the human intestinal epithelial cell line T84. Using a transmigration microassay, we show that both the decreased transepithelial resistance (76 +/- 3%) and transmigration (4 +/- 0.6 x 10(5), when PMN applied at 6 x 10(6).cm-2) are largely prevented by MAbs which recognize either subunit of the PMN surface heterodimeric adhesion glycoprotein, CD11b/CD18. In contrast, such PMN-epithelial interactions are unaffected by MAbs recognizing either of the remaining two alpha subunits CD11a or CD11c. PMN from a leukocyte adherence deficiency patient also failed to migrate across epithelial monolayers thus confirming a requirement for CD11/18 integrins. By modifying our microassay, we were able to assess PMN transmigration across T84 monolayers in the physiological direction (which, for technical reasons, has not been studied in epithelia): transmigration was again largely attenuated by MAb to CD18 or CD11b (86 +/- 2% and 73 +/- 3% inhibition, respectively) but was unaffected by MAb to CD11a, CD11c. For standard conditions of PMN density, PMN transmigration in the physiological direction was 5-20 times more efficient than in the routinely studied opposite direction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / physiology*
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / physiology*
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine