Evidence for vascular tone regulation by resident or infiltrating leukocytes

Biochem Pharmacol. 1996 Nov 22;52(10):1481-8. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(96)00513-8.


The normal vascular wall contains resident leukocytes, notably tissue macrophages (histiocytes) and mast cells, that confer a rapid, eicosanoid-dependent vasoconstrictor response to agonists typical of leukocytes, such as the complement-derived anaphylatoxin C5a or the formylated peptide f-Met-Leu-Phe (isolated organ methodology). The eicosanoid-dependent vasomotor response is even more intense in pathologies that involve leukocyte infiltration of the blood vessel wall, such as atherosclerosis and serum sickness in the rabbit. The leukocyte compartment of the blood vessel is the likely source of vasoactive mediators (eicosanoids, radicals, cytokines) of physiopathological importance, with possible application in cardiac ischemia, lupus nephritis, vasculitides, and graft rejection. This line of investigation may be compared to the discovery and characterization of endothelium-dependent vasomotor responses. However, the problem is experimentally more demanding: histological correlations, experiments based on leukocyte depletion, reconstitution, and enrichment are useful approaches to document this form of circulatory control.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / cytology
  • Blood Vessels / physiology
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Histiocytes / physiology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Mast Cells / physiology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology


  • Chemotactic Factors