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PloS one

Nanoscale Imaging Reveals a Tetraspanin-CD9 Coordinated Elevation of Endothelial ICAM-1 Clusters.


PMID 26731655

Abstract

Endothelial barriers have a central role in inflammation as they allow or deny the passage of leukocytes from the vasculature into the tissue. To bind leukocytes, endothelial cells form adhesive clusters containing tetraspanins and ICAM-1, so-called endothelial adhesive platforms (EAPs). Upon leukocyte binding, EAPs evolve into docking structures that emanate from the endothelial surface while engulfing the leukocyte. Here, we show that TNF-α is sufficient to induce apical protrusions in the absence of leukocytes. Using advanced quantitation of atomic force microscopy (AFM) recordings, we found these structures to protrude by 160 ± 80 nm above endothelial surface level. Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy proved them positive for ICAM-1, JAM-A, tetraspanin CD9 and f-actin. Microvilli formation was inhibited in the absence of CD9. Our findings indicate that stimulation with TNF-α induces nanoscale changes in endothelial surface architecture and that--via a tetraspanin CD9 depending mechanism--the EAPs rise above the surface to facilitate leukocyte capture.

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