Probing the biomechanical contribution of the endothelium to lymphocyte migration: diapedesis by the path of least resistance.
ABSTRACT: Immune cell trafficking requires the frequent breaching of the endothelial barrier either directly through individual cells ('transcellular' route) or through the inter-endothelial junctions ('paracellular' route). What determines the loci or route of breaching events is an open question with important implications for overall barrier regulation. We hypothesized that basic biomechanical properties of the endothelium might serve as crucial determinants of this process. By altering junctional integrity, cytoskeletal morphology and, consequently, local endothelial cell stiffness of different vascular beds, we could modify the preferred route of diapedesis. In particular, high barrier function was associated with predominantly transcellular migration, whereas negative modulation of junctional integrity resulted in a switch to paracellular diapedesis. Furthermore, we showed that lymphocytes dynamically probe the underlying endothelium by extending invadosome-like protrusions (ILPs) into its surface that deform the nuclear lamina, distort actin filaments and ultimately breach the barrier. Fluorescence imaging and pharmacologic depletion of F-actin demonstrated that lymphocyte barrier breaching efficiency was inversely correlated with local endothelial F-actin density and stiffness. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that lymphocytes are guided by the mechanical 'path of least resistance' as they transverse the endothelium, a process we term 'tenertaxis'.
Project description:Diapedesis is critical for immune system function and inflammatory responses. This occurs by migration of blood leukocytes either directly through individual microvascular endothelial cells (the "transcellular" route) or between them (the "paracellular" route). Mechanisms for transcellular pore formation in endothelium remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that lymphocytes used podosomes and extended "invasive podosomes" to palpate the surface of, and ultimately form transcellular pores through, the endothelium. In lymphocytes, these structures were dependent on Src kinase and the actin regulatory protein WASP; inhibition of podosome formation selectively blocked the transcellular route of diapedesis. In endothelium, membrane fusion events dependent on the SNARE-containing membrane fusion complex and intracellular calcium were required for efficient transcellular pore formation in response to podosomes. These findings provide insights into basic mechanisms for leukocyte trafficking and the functions of podosomes.
Project description:In vivo, leukocyte transendothelial migration (TEM) occurs at endothelial cell junctions (paracellular) and nonjunctional (transcellular) locations, whereas in vitro models report that TEM is mostly paracellular. The mechanisms that control the route of leukocyte TEM remain unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that elevated intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression regulates the location of polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) TEM. We used an in vitro flow model of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-activated human umbilical vein endothelium cells (HUVECs) or an HUVEC cell line transfected with ICAM-1GFP (green fluorescent protein) and live-cell fluorescence microscopy to quantify the location of PMN adhesion and TEM. We observed robust transcellular TEM with TNF-alpha-activated HUVECs and ICAM-1GFP immortalized HUVECS (iHUVECs). In contrast, primary CD3+ T lymphocytes exclusively used a paracellular route. Endothelial ICAM-1 was identified as essential for both paracellular and transcellular PMN transmigration, and interfering with ICAM-1 cytoplasmic tail function preferentially reduced transcellular TEM. We also found that ICAM-1 surface density and distribution as well as endothelial cell shape contributed to transcellular TEM. In summary, ICAM-1 promotes junctional and nonjunctional TEM across inflamed vascular endothelium via distinct cytoplasmic tail associations.
Project description:Infiltration of the endothelial layer of the blood-brain barrier by leukocytes plays a critical role in health and disease. When passing through the endothelial layer during the diapedesis process lymphocytes can either follow a paracellular route or a transcellular one. There is a debate whether these two processes constitute one mechanism, or they form two evolutionary distinct migration pathways. We used artificial intelligence, phylogenetic analysis, HH search, ancestor sequence reconstruction to investigate further this intriguing question. We found that the two systems share several ancient components, such as RhoA protein that plays a critical role in controlling actin movement in both mechanisms. However, some of the key components differ between these two transmigration processes. CAV1 genes emerged during Trichoplax adhaerens, and it was only reported in transcellular process. Paracellular process is dependent on PECAM1. PECAM1 emerged from FASL5 during Zebrafish divergence. Lastly, both systems employ late divergent genes such as ICAM1 and VECAM1. Taken together, our results suggest that these two systems constitute two different mechanical sensing mechanisms of immune cell infiltrations of the brain, yet these two systems are connected. We postulate that the mechanical properties of the cellular polarity is the main driving force determining the migration pathway. Our analysis indicates that both systems coevolved with immune cells, evolving to a higher level of complexity in association with the evolution of the immune system.
Project description:Leukocyte transmigration across vessel walls is a critical step in the innate immune response. Upon their activation and firm adhesion to vascular endothelial cells (VECs), leukocytes preferentially extravasate across junctional gaps in the endothelial monolayer (paracellular diapedesis). It has been hypothesized that VECs facilitate paracellular diapedesis by opening their cell-cell junctions in response to the presence of an adhering leukocyte. However, it is unclear how leukocytes interact mechanically with VECs to open the VEC junctions and migrate across the endothelium. In this study, we measured the spatial and temporal evolution of the 3D traction stresses generated by the leukocytes and VECs to elucidate the sequence of mechanical events involved in paracellular diapedesis. Our measurements suggest that the contractile stresses exerted by the leukocytes and the VECs can separately perturb the junctional tensions of VECs to result in the opening of gaps before the initiation of leukocyte transmigration. Decoupling the stresses exerted by the transmigrating leukocytes and the VECs reveals that the leukocytes actively contract the VECs to open a junctional gap and then push themselves across the gap by generating strong stresses that push into the matrix. In addition, we found that diapedesis is facilitated when the tension fluctuations in the VEC monolayer were increased by proinflammatory thrombin treatment. Our findings demonstrate that diapedesis can be mechanically regulated by the transmigrating leukocytes and by proinflammatory signals that increase VEC contractility.
Project description:Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) is an impedance-based method for monitoring changes in cell behaviour in real-time. In this paper, we highlight the importance of ECIS in measuring the kinetics of human melanoma cell invasion across human brain endothelium. ECIS data can be mathematically modelled to assess which component of the endothelial paracellular and basolateral barriers is being affected and when. Our results reveal that a range of human melanoma cells can mediate disruption of human brain endothelium, primarily involving the paracellular route, as demonstrated by ECIS. The sensitivity of ECIS also reveals that the paracellular barrier weakens within 30-60 min of the melanoma cells being added to the apical face of the endothelial cells. Imaging reveals pronounced localisation of the melanoma cells at the paracellular junctions consistent with paracellular migration. Time-lapse imaging further reveals junctional opening and disruption of the endothelial monolayer by the invasive melanoma cells all within several hours. We suggest that the ability of ECIS to resolve changes to barrier integrity in real time, and to determine the route of migration, provides a powerful tool for future studies investigating the key molecules involved in the invasive process of cancer cells.
Project description:Systemically administered adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are being explored in clinical trials to treat inflammatory disease, exhibit the critical ability to extravasate at sites of inflammation. We aimed to characterize the basic cellular processes mediating this extravasation and compare them to those involved in leukocyte transmigration. Using high-resolution confocal and dynamic microscopy, we show that, like leukocytes, human bone marrow-derived MSC preferentially adhere to and migrate across tumor necrosis factor-?-activated endothelium in a vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and G-protein-coupled receptor signaling-dependent manner. As several studies have suggested, we observed that a fraction of MSC was integrated into endothelium. In addition, we observed two modes of transmigration not previously observed for MSC: Paracellular (between endothelial cells) and transcellular (directly through individual endothelial cells) diapedesis through discrete gaps and pores in the endothelial monolayer, in association with VCAM-1-enriched "transmigratory cups". Contrasting leukocytes, MSC transmigration was not preceded by significant lateral migration and occurred on the time scale of hours rather than minutes. Interestingly, rather than lamellipodia and invadosomes, MSC exhibited nonapoptotic membrane blebbing activity that was similar to activities previously described for metastatic tumor and embryonic germ cells. Our studies suggest that low avidity binding between endothelium and MSC may grant a permissive environment for MSC blebbing. MSC blebbing was associated with early stages of transmigration, in which blebs could exert forces on underlying endothelial cells indicating potential functioning in breaching the endothelium. Collectively, our data suggest that MSC transmigrate actively into inflamed tissues via both leukocyte-like and novel mechanisms.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) dynamically controls and maintains a precisely balanced brain microenvironment necessary for reliable functioning. It is made up of highly specialized endothelial cells (ECs) in the lining of the vascular wall. These ECs are surrounded by the basal lamina, astrocytic perivascular endfeet, pericytes, microglia and neuronal processes that have been shown to contribute to barrier function1. In essence, the brain endothelium limits both transcellular and paracellular passage of cells and molecules into the central nervous system (CNS). Transcellular passage of hydrophilic molecules is limited due to a low rate of transcytotic vesicles, an extremely low pinocytotic activity, expression of active efflux transporters, and high metabolic activity. Paracellular diffusion of hydrophilic molecules and trafficking of immune cells is restricted by a network of tight junctions (TJs)2-5. Due to these characteristics, the BBB is able to protect the CNS from sudden changes in blood composition and uncontrolled influx of immune cells. In a large number of neuro-inflammatory diseases, an impaired function and an opening of the BBB are observed. In diseases of the CNS like multiple sclerosis or stroke or after brain trauma, the BBB becomes inflamed (mediated by for example reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hypoxia) and its function severely impaired which gives rise to enhanced cellular infiltration, thus contributing to tissue damage and neurological deficits. Due to the specialized nature of brain ECs, transmigration of leukocytes through cerebrovascular endothelium is likely to differ from that in other vascular beds. Generally, the transmigration process is closely controlled by the interaction of leukocytes with the endothelial surface followed by low velocity rolling, arrest, firm adhesion, and finally transmigration. For the diapedesis of immune cells across the cerebral vasculature a re-arrangement of the cytoskeleton and opening of the TJ complexes is required to allow cells to pass into the sub endothelial space. In the initial step of the adhesive cascade leukocytes adhere to the endothelium with low affinity. This adhesion is mediated by several members of the selectin family and their corresponding ligands. Despite the low affinity of these interactions, resulting contact of leukocytes with the endothelium leads to further activation of both cell types and finally transmigration of the leukocytes through the BBB6,7. The glycosylation of endothelial cells of different vascular bed origins To date it is unknown which specific carbohydrate structures on the BBB endothelium mediate leukocyte capture and rolling, and whether these structures are differentially expressed onto inflamed brain EC compared to normal brain ECs and vascular beds of other organs. Initial studies using qPCR and FACS analysis within our group reveal that brain endothelial cells have a different profile in their glycosylation-related genes compared to microvascular ECs upon inflammation, which may result in a different glycosylation profile of adhesive structures and may underlie rolling, adhesion and diapedesis of leukocytes. In this project we wish to identify specific, glycosylated structures on brain endothelial cells that mediate capture, rolling and diapedesis of leukocytes in the brain. To investigate the expression of glycosyltransferases in dendritic cells and the changes in expression associated with maturation. RNA preparations from stimulated and non-stimulated hcMEC/D3 (human brain endothelial cells line) and FMVEC (human promary microvascular endothelial cells isolated from foreskins) were sent to both Microarray Core (E) and Core(C). The RNA was put on an RNeasy Column, amplified, labeled, and hybridized to the Glycov3 microarrays. Data was sent to Dr. van Kooyk's lab for analysis.
Project description:The neutrophil transmigration across the blood endothelial cell barrier represents the prerequisite step of innate inflammation. It is well known that neutrophils cross the endothelial barrier by transmigrating at the endothelial cell junction ('paracellular'). However, in vivo and in vitro evidence have clearly demonstrated occurrence of an alternate mode of migration directly through the endothelial cell body ('transcellular'). Despite our knowledge on mechanisms of transendothelial migration, it remains unclear which factors determine distinct modes of migration. We recently found that the Ras-like Rap1b GTPase limits neutrophil transcellular migration. Rap1b restrains transcellular migration by suppressing Akt-driven invasive protrusions while leaving the paracellular route unaffected. Furthermore, Rap1b limits neutrophil tissue infiltration in mice and prevents hyper susceptibility to endotoxin shock. These findings uncover a novel role for Rap1b in neutrophil migration and inflammation. Importantly, they offer emerging evidences that paracellular and transcellular migration of neutrophils are regulated by separate mechanisms. Here, we discuss the mechanisms of neutrophil transmigration and their clinical importance for vascular integrity and innate inflammation.
Project description:Leukocyte transendothelial migration (TEM; diapedesis) is a critical event in immune surveillance and inflammation. Most TEM occurs at endothelial cell borders (paracellular). However, there is indirect evidence to suggest that, at the tight junctions of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), leukocytes migrate directly through the endothelial cell body (transcellular). Why leukocytes migrate through the endothelial cell body rather than the cell borders is unknown. To test the hypothesis that the tightness of endothelial cell junctions influences the pathway of diapedesis, we developed an in vitro model of the BBB that possessed 10-fold higher electrical resistance than standard culture conditions and strongly expressed the BBB tight junction proteins claudin-5 and claudin-3. We found that paracellular TEM was still the predominant pathway (?98%) and TEM was dependent on PECAM-1 and CD99. We show that endothelial tight junctions expressing claudin-5 are dynamic and undergo rapid remodeling during TEM. Membrane from the endothelial lateral border recycling compartment is mobilized to the exact site of tight junction remodeling. This preserves the endothelial barrier by sealing the intercellular gaps with membrane and engaging the migrating leukocyte with unligated adhesion molecules (PECAM-1 and CD99) as it crosses the cell border. These findings provide new insights into leukocyte-endothelial interactions at the BBB and suggest that tight junctions are more dynamic than previously appreciated.
Project description:Inflammation is driven by excessive transmigration (diapedesis) of leukocytes from the blood to the tissue across the endothelial cell monolayer that lines blood vessels. Leukocyte adhesion, crawling, and transmigration are regulated by clustering of the endothelial mechanosensitive receptor intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Whereas several proteins are known to promote ICAM-1 function, the molecular mechanisms that limit ICAM-1-mediated adhesion to prevent excessive leukocyte transmigration remain unknown. We identify the endothelial actin-binding protein CD2-associated protein (CD2AP) as a novel interaction partner of ICAM-1. Loss of CD2AP stimulates the dynamics of ICAM-1 clustering, which facilitates the formation of ICAM-1 complexes on the endothelial cell surface. Consequently, neutrophil adhesion is increased, but crawling is decreased. In turn, this promotes the neutrophil preference for the transcellular over the paracellular transmigration route. Mechanistically, CD2AP is required for mechanosensitive ICAM-1 downstream signaling toward activation of the PI3K, and recruitment of F-actin and of the actin-branching protein cortactin. Moreover, CD2AP is necessary for ICAM-1-induced Rac1 recruitment and activation. Mechanical force applied on ICAM-1 impairs CD2AP binding to ICAM-1, suggesting that a tension-induced negative feedback loop promotes ICAM-1-mediated neutrophil crawling and paracellular transmigration. To our knowledge, these data show for the first time that the mechanoreceptor ICAM-1 is negatively regulated by an actin-binding adaptor protein, i.e., CD2AP, to allow a balanced and spatiotemporal control of its adhesive function. CD2AP is important in kidney dysfunction that is accompanied by inflammation. Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for the role of CD2AP in inflamed vessels, identifying this adaptor protein as a potential therapeutic target.