Threshold levels of fluid shear promote leukocyte adhesion through selectins (CD62L,P,E)

Michael B. Lawrence*, Geoffrey S. Kansas, Eric J. Kunkel, Klaus Ley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Scopus citations


Leukocyte adhesion through L-selectin to peripheral node addressin (PNAd, also known as MECA-79 antigen), an L-selectin ligand expressed on high endothelial venules, has been shown to require a minimum level of fluid shear stress to sustain rolling interactions (Finger, E.B., K.D. Puri, R. Alon, M.B. Lawrence, V.H. von Andrian, and T.A. Springer, 1996. Nature (Lond.), 379:266-269). Here, we show that fluid shear above a threshold of 0.5 dyn/cm2 wall shear stress significantly enhances HL-60 myelocyte rolling on P- and E-selectin at site densities of 200/μm2 and below. In addition, gravitational force is sufficient to detach HL-60 cells from P- and E- selectin substrates in the absence, but not in the presence, of flow. It appears that fluid shear-induced torque is critical for the maintenance of leukocyte rolling. K562 cells transfected with P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1, a ligand for P-selectin, showed a similar reduction in rolling on P-selectin as the wall shear stress was lowered below 0.5 dyn/cm2. Similarly, 300.19 cells transfected with L-selectin failed to roll on PNAd below this level of wall shear stress, indicating that the requirement for minimum levels of shear force is not cell type specific. Rolling of leukocytes mediated by the selectins could be reinitiated within seconds by increasing the level of wall shear stress, suggesting that fluid shear did not modulate receptor avidity. Intravital microscopy of cremaster muscle venules indicated that the leukocyte rolling flux fraction was reduced at blood centerline velocities less than 1 mm/s in a model in which rolling is mediated by L- and P-selectin. Similar observations were made in L-selectin- deficient mice in which leukocyte rolling is entirely P-selectin dependent. Leukocyte adhesion through all three selectins appears to be significantly enhanced by a threshold level of fluid shear stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-727
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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