Fasudil inhibits neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions by regulating the expressions of GRP78 and BMPR2

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Regulation of leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions and of vascular permeability plays a critical role in the maintenance of functional pulmonary microvascular barriers. Little is yet known about the effect of the Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitor fasudil on leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions or the underlying mechanism. In the present study, as evaluated using co-culture systems of neutrophils and human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs), fasudil dose-dependently suppressed neutrophil chemotaxis by decreasing the production of chemotactic factors in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated HPMECs. The inhibitory role of fasudil in neutrophil chemotaxis was mediated by down-regulation of the chaperone glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), since the inhibition was abolished by 4-phenyl butyric acid (a chemical chaperone mimicking GRP78). In addition, fasudil inhibited LPS-induced neutrophil-endothelial adhesion by reducing the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1. By use of lentiviral transfection in HPMECs, bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) overexpression suppressed the LPS-induced increase of both ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil-endothelial adhesion, whereas knocking down BMPR2 abolished the inhibitory role of fasudil in both ICAM-1 expression and neutrophil-endothelial adhesion. Moreover, fasudil alleviated LPS-induced hyperpermeability of HPMEC monolayers by leading to the recovery of intercellular junctions, thereafter reduced neutrophil transendothelial cell migration. Therefore, fasudil inhibited leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions and vascular hyperpermeability through modulation of GRP78 and BMPR2 expression, suggesting a potential role for ROCK as a switch for inhibiting leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions.HighlightsFasudil suppressed neutrophil-endothelial chemotaxis in a dose-dependent manner.Fasudil inhibited neutrophil-endothelial chemotaxis via GRP78 down-regulation.Fasudil attenuated neutrophil-endothelial adhesion by modulating BMPR2 expression.Fasudil reduced neutrophil transendothelial cell migration.

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