Interaction between ICAM-1 (CD54) and fibrinogen (fg) has been shown to enhance leukocyte adhesion, but its specific role in the process of migration across endothelial cell junctions remains unclear. To overcome the problem of multiple adhesion receptors found on endothelial cells, we have engineered stable Chinese hamster ovary cell lines expressing ICAM-1 (Chinese hamster ovary ICAM-1). The transfection of ICAM-1 alone in these cells is sufficient to recapitulate the entire process of neutrophil adhesion and transmigration. This phenomenon was mediated by fg-ICAM-1 interactions, as depletion of fg, as well as the use of an Ab that specifically inhibits ICAM-1-fg interaction (2D5), completely abolished the effect of ICAM-1 expression on PMN transmigration. In addition, this ICAM-1-mediated transmigration is clearly dependent on the occurrence of fg-ICAM-1 interactions on the monolayer, and not on neutrophils, as the preincubation of the PMN with the mAb was ineffective. Furthermore, PMN transmigration, but not adhesion, is totally abolished when the ICAM-1 cytoplasmic domain is deleted, indicating that signaling inside the cell is required to mediate the fg-ICAM-1 effect on transmigration. Using a specific inhibitor of the small GTP-binding protein Rho, we have obtained evidence that this signaling cascade is involved. Thus, our results clearly show that ICAM-1 plays a key role in the migration of leukocytes across cell junctions, and indicate that this phenomenon is not a direct consequence of the enhanced adhesion mediated by the expression of ICAM-1.
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