The chemokines CCL5 and CXCL4 are deposited by platelets onto endothelial cells, inducing monocyte arrest. Here, the fate of CCL5 and CXCL4 after endothelial deposition was investigated. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and EA.hy926 cells were incubated with CCL5 or CXCL4 for up to 120 min, and chemokine uptake was analyzed by microscopy and by ELISA. Intracellular calcium signaling was visualized upon chemokine treatment, and monocyte arrest was evaluated under laminar flow. Whereas CXCL4 remained partly on the cell surface, all of the CCL5 was internalized into endothelial cells. Endocytosis of CCL5 and CXCL4 was shown as a rapid and active process that primarily depended on dynamin, clathrin, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but not on surface proteoglycans. Intracellular calcium signals were increased after chemokine treatment. Confocal microscopy and ELISA measurements in cell organelle fractions indicated that both chemokines accumulated in the nucleus. Internalization did not affect leukocyte arrest, as pretreatment of chemokines and subsequent washing did not alter monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells. Endothelial cells rapidly and actively internalize CCL5 and CXCL4 by clathrin and dynamin-dependent endocytosis, where the chemokines appear to be directed to the nucleus. These findings expand our knowledge of how chemokines attract leukocytes to sites of inflammation.
Keywords: RANTES; chemokine; endothelial cell; monocyte; platelet factor 4.