Leukocyte recruitment to sites of infection or inflammation requires multiple adhesive events. Although numerous players promoting leukocyte-endothelial interactions have been characterized, functionally important endogenous inhibitors of leukocyte adhesion have not been identified. Here we describe the endothelially derived secreted molecule Del-1 (developmental endothelial locus-1) as an anti-adhesive factor that interferes with the integrin LFA-1-dependent leukocyte-endothelial adhesion. Endothelial Del-1 deficiency increased LFA-1-dependent leukocyte adhesion in vitro and in vivo. Del-1-/- mice displayed significantly higher neutrophil accumulation in lipopolysaccharide-induced lung inflammation in vivo, which was reversed in Del-1/LFA-1 double-deficient mice. Thus, Del-1 is an endogenous inhibitor of inflammatory cell recruitment and could provide a basis for targeting leukocyte-endothelial interactions in disease.
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