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Critical role of endothelial CXCR2 in LPS-induced neutrophil migration into the lung

In models of acute lung injury, CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) mediates migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into the lung. Since CXCR2 ligands, including CXCL1 and CXCL2/3, are chemotactic for PMNs, CXCR2 is thought to recruit PMNs by inducing chemotactic migration. In a model of PMN recruitment to the lung, aerosolized bacterial LPS inhalation induced PMN recruitment to the lung in wild-type mice, but not in littermate CXCR2–/– mice. Surprisingly, lethally irradiated wild-type mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM still showed about 50% PMN recruitment into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and into lung interstitium, but CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with CXCR2–/– BM showed no PMN recruitment. Conversely, CXCR2–/– mice reconstituted with wild-type BM showed a surprisingly large defect in PMN recruitment, inconsistent with a role of CXCR2 on PMNs alone. Cell culture, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and real-time RT-PCR were used to show expression of CXCR2 on pulmonary endothelial and bronchial epithelial cells. The LPS-induced increase in lung microvascular permeability as measured by Evans blue extravasation required CXCR2 on nonhematopoietic cells. Our data revealed what we believe to be a previously unrecognized role of endothelial and epithelial CXCR2 in LPS-induced PMN recruitment and lung injury.