Genetic variation is the major determinant of individual differences in leukocyte endothelial adhesion

Michael A. Grassi, Vidhya Rao, Kathryn P. Winkler, Wei Zhang, Joseph D. Bogaard, Siquan Chen, Bonnie LaCroix, Divya Lenkala, Jalees Rehman, Asrar B. Malik, Nancy J. Cox, R. Stephanie Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the genetic contribution to leukocyte endothelial adhesion. Methods: Leukocyte endothelial adhesion was assessed through a novel cell-based assay using human lymphoblastoid cell lines. A high-throughput screening method was developed to evaluate the inter-individual variability in leukocyte endothelial adhesion using lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from different donors. To assess heritability, ninety-two lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from twenty-three monozygotic twin pairs and twenty-three sibling pairs were compared. These lymphoblastoid cell lines were plated with the endothelial cell line EA.hy926 and labeled with Calcein AM dye. Fluorescence was assessed to determine endothelial cell adhesion to each lymphoblastoid cell line. Intra-pair similarity was determined for monozygotic twins and siblings using Pearson pairwise correlation coefficients. Results: A leukocyte endothelial adhesion assay for lymphoblastoid cell lines was developed and optimized (CV = 8.68, Z′- factor = 0.67, SNR = 18.41). A higher adhesion correlation was found between the twins than that between the siblings. Intrapair similarity for leukocyte endothelial adhesion in monozygotic twins was 0.60 compared to 0.25 in the siblings. The extent to which these differences are attributable to underlying genetic factors was quantified and the heritability of leukocyte endothelial adhesion was calculated to be 69.66% (p-value<0.0001). Conclusions: There is a heritable component to leukocyte endothelial adhesion. Underlying genetic predisposition plays a significant role in inter-individual variability of leukocyte endothelial adhesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere87883
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2014
Externally publishedYes


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