Receptor cleavage and P-selectin-dependent reduction of leukocyte adhesion in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
ABSTRACT The SHR, a genetic model for hypertension and the metabolic syndrome, has attenuated leukocyte adhesion to the postcapillary endothelium by an unknown mechanism. Based on recent evidence of elevated levels of MMPs in plasma and on microvascular endothelium of the SHR with cleavage of several receptor types, we hypothesize that the reduced leukocyte-endothelial interaction is a result of enhanced proteolytic cleavage of P-selectin on the postcapillary endothelium and PSGL-1 on leukocytes. The attenuated rolling interactions of SHR leukocytes with the endothelium were restored by chronic treatment with a broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor (CGS) for 24 weeks. The SHR MMP levels, in plasma and mesentery, as well as the systolic blood pressure, decreased significantly with treatment. In the SHR mesentery, labeling of P-selectin in the postcapillary venules by immunohistochemistry demonstrated, on average, a 31% lower extracellular P-selectin density compared with the normotensive WKY. A significantly lower extracellular PSGL-1 density on the membranes of SHR neutrophils compared with the WKY also supported our hypothesis. In vivo stimulation of the mesenteric postcapillary venules with histamine demonstrated that the SHR had an attenuated response, as measured by leukocyte rolling velocity on the endothelium. The reduced P-selectin and PSGL-1 density, on SHR postcapillary endothelium and on SHR leukocytes, respectively, was restored significantly by chronic MMP inhibition. The impaired ability of SHR leukocytes to reduce rolling velocity upon inflammatory stimulation led to fewer firmly adhered leukocytes to the endothelium as a contributor to immune suppression.