Monocytes play a critical role in defending the host against foreign organisms and in regulating the behavior of other cells. Monocytes circulate as nonadherent cells in the blood and migrate as adherent cells through tissues. Adhesion molecules mediate not only cell adhesion, but also migration, phagocytosis, and many other adhesion-dependent functions. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is thought to be responsible for monocyte recruitment in acute inflammatory conditions and may be an important mediator in chronic inflammation. In this study, immunofluorescence flow cytometry was used to determine whether MCP-1 can regulate the cell surface expression of adhesion molecules, particularly beta-2 and alpha-4 integrins and the leukocyte adhesion molecule-1. We found that MCP-1 induced expression of CD11c (p150,95 alpha-subunit) and CD11b (Mac-1 alpha-subunit), and caused little or no change of CD11a (lymphocyte function-associated Ag-1 alpha-subunit), very late activation Ag-4, or leukocyte adhesion molecule-1. We demonstrated that antibodies to beta-2 and alpha-4 integrins inhibited MCP-1-induced monocyte chemotaxis. We also showed that MCP-1 is capable of inducing IL-1 and IL-6, but not TNF production of monocytes. These results indicate that MCP-1 is not only a chemoattractant but also a novel cytokine with the capacity to regulate several parameters of monocyte function.

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