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Heparin Interaction with the Primed Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte CD11b Induces Apoptosis and Prevents Cell Activation.

  • Author(s): Cohen-Mazor, Meital
  • Mazor, Rafi
  • Kristal, Batya
  • Kistler, Erik B
  • Ziv, Inbal
  • Chezar, Judith
  • Sela, Shifra
  • et al.

Heparin is known to have anti-inflammatory effects, yet the mechanisms are not completely understood. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that heparin has a direct effect on activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs), changing their activation state, and can explain its anti-inflammatory effect. To test our hypothesis, we designed both in vitro and ex vivo studies to elucidate the mechanism by which heparin modulates PMNL functions and therefore the inflammatory response. We specifically tested the hypothesis that priming of PMNLs renders them more susceptible to heparin. Amplified levels of CD11b and increased rate of superoxide release manifested PMNL priming. Increase in cell priming resulted in a dose-dependent increase in heparin binding to PMNLs followed by augmented apoptosis. Blocking antibodies to CD11b inhibited heparin binding and abolished the apoptotic response. Moreover, heparin caused a significant dose-dependent decrease in the rate of superoxide release from PMNLs, which was blunted by blocking antibodies to CD11b. Altogether, this study shows that the interaction of heparin with the PMNL CD11b results in cell apoptosis and explains heparin's anti-inflammatory effects.

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