Objective: Antibodies against human neutrophil antigen-3a (HNA-3a) located on choline transporter-like protein 2 induce severe transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). This study aims to identify the mechanism implicated in anti-HNA-3a-mediated TRALI.
Approach and results: Our analysis shows that anti-HNA-3a recognizes 2 choline transporter-like protein 2 isoforms (P1 and P2) on human microvascular endothelial cells from lung blood vessels but reacts only with the P1 isoform on neutrophils. Direct treatment of HNA-3a-positive endothelial cells with anti-HNA-3a, but not with anti-HNA-3b, leads to reactive oxygen species production, increased albumin influx, and decreased endothelial resistance associated with the formation of actin stress filaments and loosening of junctional vascular endothelium-cadherin. In a novel in vivo mouse model, TRALI was documented by significant increase in lung water content, albumin concentration, and neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar lavage on injection of human anti-HNA-3a in lipopolysaccharides-treated, as well as nontreated mice. Interestingly, although neutrophil depletion alleviated severity of lung injury, it failed to prevent TRALI in this model. Infusion of anti-HNA-3a F(ab')2 fragments caused moderate TRALI. Finally, mice lacking nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX2(y/-)) were protected from anti-HNA-3a-mediated TRALI.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate the initiation of endothelial barrier dysfunction in vitro and in vivo by direct binding of anti-HNA-3a on endothelial cells. It seems, however, that the presence of neutrophils aggravates barrier dysfunction. This novel mechanism of TRALI primarily mediated by endothelial cell dysfunction via choline transporter-like protein 2 may help to define new treatment strategies to decrease TRALI-related mortality.
Keywords: acute lung injury; endothelium; reactive oxygen species.