Neutrophil adhesion to xenogeneic endothelium via iC3b

G. M. Vercellotti, J. L. Platt, F. H. Bach, A. P. Dalmasso

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92 Scopus citations


Neutrophils are thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of hyperacute rejection, a dramatic form of tissue injury caused by the reaction of antigraft antibodies with endothelial cells of an organ allograft or xenograft. We asked whether the interactions of human polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN) with xenogeneic endothelium might be promoted by the binding of natural anti-endothelial antibodies and complement by using porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC), human serum, and human PMN in an in vitro model of hyperacute rejection. Pretreatment of PAEC with 10% human serum followed by washing markedly increased PMN adhesion from 15.7 ± 1.8% to 62.5 ± 3.6% (p < 0.001). Complement and anti-endothelial antibodies were necessary for the increase, because heat-inactivated serum or serum depleted of IgM did not significantly increase PMN adhesion to treated endothelium. The induction of increased PMN adhesion to PAEC by human serum was observed within 1 min. The essential role of complement was defined using complement-depleted serum. Ten percent C2-deficient serum did not increase PMN adhesion whereas 10% C5-depleted or 10% C8-depleted serum caused the same increase in PMN adhesion as observed with normal human serum. These results suggested that C3 might play a critical role in enhanced neutrophil adhesion. In fact, PAEC treated with 10% human serum for 15 min and incubated with an F(ab′)2 antihuman C3 for 10 min completely abolished the enhanced adhesion. PAEC treated with 10% human serum or C5-depleted serum displayed fluorescence of iC3b whereas monolayers treated with heat-inactivated serum or C2-deficient serum were non-reactive. The enhanced PMN adhesion to serum-treated PAEC was mediated through neutrophil receptors binding iC3b because mAb directed against CD11b/CD18 inhibited the serum-enhanced adhesion of PMN. We conclude that PMN adhesion to endothelium can be significantly enhanced by the endothelial deposition of iC3b.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-734
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1991


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