Activation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes reduces their adhesion to P-selectin and causes redistribution of ligands for P-selectin on their surfaces

J Clin Invest. 1995 Jul;96(1):171-82. doi: 10.1172/JCI118018.


In acute inflammatory responses, selectins mediate initial rolling of neutrophils (PMNs) along the endothelial surface. This is followed by tight adhesion that requires activation-dependent up-regulation of CD11/CD18 integrins on PMNs. For emigration to occur, the initial bonds that are established at the endothelial surface must be disengaged. We show that activation of PMNs results in their detachment from P-selectin, a glycoprotein expressed at the surface of inflamed endothelium that mediates initial tethering of PMNs. Loosening of the bond occurs when PMNs are activated by platelet-activating factor, which is coexpressed with P-selectin, or by other signaling molecules. The time course of reduced adhesion to P-selectin, when compared to up-regulation of CD11/CD18 integrins, suggests that "bond trading" may occur as activated PMNs transmigrate in vivo. Activation of PMNs did not alter binding of fluid-phase P-selectin, indicating that the ligand(s) for P-selectin is not shed or internalized. Using microspheres coated with P-selectin, we found that ligands for P-selectin were randomly distributed over the surfaces of rounded, unactivated PMNs. An antibody against P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) completely inhibited binding of P-selectin-coated beads suggesting that P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 is the critical binding site in this assay. In contrast to the dispersed pattern on unactivated PMNs, the ligands for P-selectin were localized on the uropods of activated, polarized cells. Pretreating PMNs with cytochalasin D before activation prevented the change in cell shape, the redistribution of binding sites for P-selectin-coated beads, and the decrease in cellular adhesiveness for P-selectin. These experiments indicate that the distribution of ligands for P-selectin is influenced by cellular activation and by cytoskeletal interactions, and that redistribution of these ligands may influence adhesive interactions. Activation of PMNs may cause loosening or disengagement of bonds between P-selectin and its ligands, facilitating transendothelial migration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • CD11 Antigens / physiology
  • CD18 Antigens / physiology
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cricetinae
  • Cytochalasin D / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / pharmacology
  • Ligands
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophil Activation*
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Activating Factor / pharmacology
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*


  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Interleukin-8
  • Ligands
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Cytochalasin D
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • Calcium