The ability of tumor cells to metastasize hematogenously is regulated by their interactions with polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). However, the mechanisms mediating PMN binding to tumor cells under physiological shear forces remain largely unknown. This study was designed to characterize the molecular interactions between PMNs and tumor cells as a function of the dynamic shear environment, using two human colon adenocarcinoma cell lines (LS174T and HCT-8) as models. PMN and colon carcinoma cell suspensions, labeled with distinct fluorophores, were sheared in a cone-and-plate rheometer in the presence of the PMN activator fMLP. The size distribution and cellular composition of formed aggregates were determined by flow cytometry. PMN binding to LS174T cells was maximal at 100 s-1 and decreased with increasing shear. At low shear (100 s-1) PMN CD11b alone mediates PMN-LS174T heteroaggregation. However, L-selectin, CD11a, and CD11b are all required for PMN binding to sialyl Lewisx-bearing LS174T cells at high shear (800 s-1). In contrast, sialyl Lewisx-low HCT-8 cells fail to aggregate with PMNs at high shear conditions, despite extensive adhesive interactions at low shear. Taken together, our data suggest that PMN L-selectin initiates LS174T cell tethering at high shear by binding to sialylated moieties on the carcinoma cell surface, whereas the subsequent involvement of CD11a and CD11b converts these transient tethers into stable adhesion. This study demonstrates that the shear environment of the vasculature modulates the dynamics and molecular constituents mediating PMN-tumor cell adhesion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy