Leukocyte adhesion and microvessel permeability

P. He, J. Wang, M. Zeng

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39 Scopus citations


To investigate the direct effect of leukocyte adherence to microvessel walls on microvessel permeability, we developed a method to measure changes in hydraulic conductivity L(p) before and after leukocyte adhesion in individually perfused venular microvessels in frog mesentery. In 19 microvessels that were initially free of leukocyte sticking or rolling along the vessel wall, control L(p) was measured first with Ringers-albumin perfusate. Blood flow was then restored in each vessel with a reduced flow rate in the range of 30-116 μm/s to facilitate leukocyte adhesion. Each vessel was recannulated in 45 min. The mean number of leukocytes adhering to the vessel wall was 237 ± 22 leukocytes/mm2. At the same time, L(p) increased to 4.7 ± 0.5 times the control value. Superfusion of isoproterenol (10 μM) after leukocyte adhesion brought the increased L(p) back to 1.1 ± 0.2 times the control in 5-10 min (n = 9). Superfusing isoproterenol before leukocyte adhesion prevented the increase in L(p) (n = 6). However, the number of leukocytes adhering to the vessel wall was not significantly affected. These results demonstrated that leukocyte adhesion caused an increase in microvessel permeability that could be prevented or restored by increasing cAMP levels in endothelial cells using isoproterenol. Thus cAMP- dependent mechanisms that regulate inflammatory agent-induced increases in permeability also modulate leukocyte adhesion-induced increases in permeability but act independently of mechanisms that regulate leukocyte adhesion to the microvessel wall. Application of ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer, and desferrioxamine mesylate, an iron-chelating reagent, attenuated the increase in L(p) induced by leukocyte adhesion, suggesting the involvement of oxidants and the activation of mast cells in leukocyte adhesion-induced permeability increase. Furthermore, with the use of an in vivo silver stain technique, the locations of the adherent leukocytes on the microvessel wall were identified quantitatively in intact microvessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1686-H1694
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 47-5
StatePublished - May 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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