Immobilized Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1 Triggers Rapid Vla-4 Affinity Increases to Stabilize Lymphocyte Tethers on Vcam-1 and Subsequently Initiate Firm Adhesion

DiVietro, J.A.; Brown, D.C.; Sklar, L.A.; Larson, R.S.; Lawrence, M.B.

The Journal of Immunology 178(6): 3903-3911


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.178.6.3903
Accession: 068490584

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The integrin VLA-4 (alpha(4)beta(1)) mediates tethering and rolling events as well as firm adhesion of leukocytes to VCAM-1. Unlike selectins, VLA-4 integrin-mediated lymphocyte adhesiveness can be modulated by chemokines through intracellular signaling pathways. To investigate the effects of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha) on VLA-4-mediated lymphocyte adhesion, human PBL were flowed over VCAM-1 substrates in a parallel plate flow chamber with surface-immobilized SDF-1alpha, a potent activator of firm adhesion. The initial tethering interactions had a median lifetime of 200 ms, consistent with the half-life of low-affinity VLA-4-VCAM-1 bonds. Immobilized SDF-1alpha acted within the lifetime of a primary tether to stabilize initial tethering interactions, increasing the likelihood a PBL would remain interacting with the surface. As expected, the immobilized SDF-1alpha also increased the ratio of PBL firm adhesion to rolling. An LDV peptide-based small molecule that preferentially binds high-affinity VLA-4 reduced PBL firm adhesion to VCAM-1 by 90%. The reduction in firm adhesion due to blockage of high-affinity VLA-4 was paralleled by a 4-fold increase in the fraction of rolling PBL. Chemokine activation of PBL firm adhesion on VCAM-1 depended on induction of high-affinity VLA-4 rather than recruitment of a pre-existing pool of high-affinity VLA-4 as previously thought.